The Top 20 Most Common Verbs In Danish

What are the most important verbs in Danish, how do you conjugate them and how do you use them? We’ve prepared a handy intro for you.
woman in yellow coat on a bike in copenhagen common danish verbs

Do you want to learn Danish, but not sure where to start? Then you’re in the right place. Vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation — trying to do it all at once can be overwhelming and frustrating. That’s why we suggest that you first concentrate on the most common Danish verbs to give your vocabulary a jump-start. If you’re not in the mood for conjugation tables, then Danish is the right language for you. Danish verbs have just one form in each tense! Easy, right?

Here we go! Below you will find the 20 most common Danish verbs, their meanings, how to conjugate them in the present tense, and an example of how to use each one in a sentence. But first, we have a handy infographic for the top five Danish verbs.

Five most common Danish verbs

The 20 Most Common Danish Verbs

1. at være — to be

jeg er — “I am” vi er — “we are”
du er — “you (singular) are” I er — “you (plural) are”
hun/han er — “he/she is” de er — “they are”

Example: Jeg er fra Tyskland. (“I’m from Germany.”)

2. at have — to have

jeg har vi har
du har I har
hun/han har de har

Example: Har du planer i weekenden? (“Do you have plans for the weekend?”)

Heads up! at være and at have are also helping verbs that are used to form the past tense. Hvad har du lavet i weekenden? (“What did you do on the weekend?”)

3. at ville — to want

jeg vil vi vil
du vil I vil
hun/han vil de vil

Example: De vil købe et hus på Lolland. (“They want to buy a house on Lolland.”)

4. at skulle — should

jeg skal vi skal
du skal I skal
hun/han skal de skal

Example: Skal vi spise rødgrød med fløde til dessert i aften? (“Should we have rødgrød with cream for dessert tonight?”)

Heads up! at ville and at skulle are helping verbs that are used with a verb in the infinitive to form the simple future. They can also be used to express a wish or demand: Jeg vil gerne have slik til frokost. (“I’d like to have sweets for lunch.”)

5. at hedde — to be called

jeg hedder vi hedder
du hedder I hedder
hun/han hedder de hedder

Example: Jeg hedder Jonas. (“I’m called Jonas.”)

6. at sige — to say

jeg siger vi siger
du siger I siger
hun/han siger de siger

Example: Hvad siger du? (“What are you saying?”)

7. at komme — to come

jeg kommer vi kommer
du kommer I kommer
hun/han kommer de kommer

Example: De kommer altid for sent. (“They always come too late.”)

8. at gå — to go

jeg går vi går
du går I går
hun/han går de går

Example: Hun går på Københavns Universitet. (“She goes to Copenhagen University.”)

9. at løbe — to run

jeg løber vi løber
du løber I løber
hun/han løber de løber

Example: Hun løber 10 kilometer på 50 minutter. (“She runs 10 kilometers in 50 minutes.”)

10. at spise — to eat

jeg spiser vi spiser
du spiser I spiser
hun/han spiser de spiser

Example: Mange danskere spiser havregryn til morgenmad. (“Many Danes have oatmeal for breakfast.”)

11. at give — to give

jeg giver vi giver
du giver I giver
hun/han giver de giver

Example: Jeg giver!  (“This one’s on me!” [lit. “I give!”])

12. at lave — to make, to do

jeg laver vi laver
du laver I laver
hun/han laver de laver

Example: Hvad laver du på mandag? (“What are you doing on Monday?”)

13. at gøre — to do, to make

jeg gør vi gør
du gør I gør
hun/han gør de gør

Example: Det gør ikke noget. (“That doesn’t matter.” [lit. “That doesn’t do anything.”])

The verbs at lave and at gøre can both mean “to make” or “to do.” The differences are often subtle, but you’ll eventually get a feel for it.

14. at stå — to stand

jeg står vi står
du står I står
hun/han står de står

Example: Jeg står altid op kl. 6. (“I always get up [lit. stand up] at 6.”)

15. at se — to see

jeg ser vi ser
du ser I ser
hun/han ser de ser

Example: Vi ser en film sammen. (“We’re seeing a film together.”)

16. at cykle — to ride a bike

jeg cykler vi cykler
du cykler I cykler
hun/han cykler de cykler

Example: De fleste københavnere cykler på arbejde. (“Most Copenhageners ride a bike to work.”)

17. at hygge sig — to make oneself cozy

jeg hygger mig vi hygger os
du hygger dig I hygger jer
hun/han hygger sig de hygger sig

Example: Kan du hygge dig! (“Enjoy yourself!” [a colloquial way to say goodbye])

18. at sejle — to sail

jeg sejler vi sejler
du sejler I sejler
hun/han sejler de sejler

Example: Bornholmerfærgen sejler fra Ystad til Rønne. (The Bornholm ferry sails from Ystad to Rønne.)

19. at snakke — to talk

jeg snakker vi snakker
du snakker I snakker
hun/han snakker de snakker

Example: Jeg snakker tit med mig selv. (“I often talk to myself.”)

20. at tale — to speak

jeg taler vi taler
du taler I taler
hun/han taler de taler

Example: Jeg taler lidt dansk. (“I speak a little Danish.”)

Helpful tip: at snakke and at tale mean almost the same thing and in most cases can be used interchangeably. However, at tale is always the more formal variant, and it’s generally used when talking about the sound you make when speaking — Hun taler højt. (“She speaks loudly.”) — while at snakke is more like “to chat”: De står og snakker ved buffeten. (“They’re standing by the buffet and chatting.”)

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