I recently started learning Danish using Duolingo, and have noticed the word 'you' is usually translated 'du', but occasionally as 'i'.

I first assumed this had to do with formal vs informal use but can't find anything online about formal or informal forms of 'you' Danish. Could anyone point me towards some resources, suitable for a complete beginner, to supplement the Duolingo course by providing additional guidance in this respect?

  • 1
    If you are interested, you might want to get the question re-opened by editing it. If you can frame it to be more "Which resources there are to distinguish pronouns in Danish" and less "help me with Danish", it could be re-opened.
    – Tommi
    Sep 2, 2021 at 9:26

1 Answer 1


The primary source is Den danske ordbog: https://ordnet.dk/ddo/ordbog?select=I,4&query=I and https://ordnet.dk/ddo/ordbog?select=du,2&query=du . It can be a bit challenging for a beginner, but you should always try. It'll start working eventually.

Wiktionary is also often useful: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/I#Danish and https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/du#Danish

Luckily, both of the sources agree: "du" is mostly the singular second person pronoun, so it refers to the single person one is talking to. "I" is mostly the plural second person pronoun, so it refers to several people one is talking to. "I" can also be used as a formal, polite term, but this usage is fairly rare in a Nordic context.

Note that English uses "you" as both a singular and plural pronoun. But many other languages do distinguish between addressing a single person and addressing several of them. Maybe you could find some resources for learning Danish from languages other than English, at least as a supplement? It would give a different perspective on the language. I think Clozemaster offers courses between Danish and French, at least, and probably German, too.

Example sentences from Danish to Dutch can be found on Tatoeba:

I don't know Dutch, so I don't know if these are helpful.

  • Thanks for the ordnet resource, that looks very useful. My native language is Dutch, which is relatively closely related to Danish, so I'll try to find some Dutch-Danish resources as well. My German isn't that good, and my French is positively awful :)
    – Tijmen
    Sep 1, 2021 at 14:26
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    Added som Dutch-Danish sentence pair links.
    – Tommi
    Sep 2, 2021 at 9:31
  • Much appreciated. I've edited the question, so hopefully it'll be reopened and you can get the rep for the accepted answer back.
    – Tijmen
    Sep 3, 2021 at 13:08

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