Easy conversation: Shopping – Practice den/det/de

Here’s a conversation between Erik and Malin that contains lots of ‘this’ and ‘that’. One way to practice this is the technique of back and forth translation. Translate one section to English or your native language, and then translate it back again. Compare with the original. What did you get wrong? Don’t forget that ‘de’ and ‘dem‘ is ‘dom‘ in spoken language!

Erik och Malin

(Malin) – Vart ska du?
(Erik) – Jag ska till stan.
– Vad ska du göra där?
– Jag ska köpa skor. Jag ska börja gymma och jag behöver träningsskor.
– Kan jag följa med? Jag ska börja med yoga nästa vecka och jag behöver köpa yogakläder.
– Okej, kan du vara klar om tio minuter?
– Inga problem!

Erik and Malin

(Malin) – Where are you going?
(Erik) – I’m going to town.
– What are you gonna do there?
– I’m going to buy shoes. I’m gonna start going to the gym and I need training shoes.
– Can I join? I’m starting with yoga next week and I need to buy yoga clothes.
– OK, can you be ready in ten minutes?
– No problem!

I skobutiken:

(Malin) – Vad tycker du om de här skorna?
(Erik) – Jag vill ha vita skor. De här är snygga.
– Nja, jag vet inte, de ser lite omoderna ut.
– Tycker du? Okej, de där då?
De är bättre. Testa dem!
(Erik tar på sig skorna)
De är sköna.
– Jag hittade precis de här gråa skorna. Vill du testa dem också?
– Okej. Ja, de här är också sköna. Men jag tror jag gillar de vita mer.
– Jag gillar de gråa mer, men det är förstås upp till dig.
– Ja, jag tar de vita.

In the shoe store:

(Malin) – What do you think about these shoes?
(Erik) – I want white shoes. These are nice looking.
– Hm, I don’t know, they look a bit outdated.
– You think? Alright, what about those?
Those are better. Try them out!
(Erik puts on the shoes.)
They are comfortable.
– I just found these grey shoes. Would you like to try them out too?
– Alright. Yeah, these are also comfy. But I think I like the white ones more.
– I like the grey ones more, but it’s obviously up to you.
– Yeah, I’ll take the white ones.

I sportbutiken:

(Erik) – Vad tycker du om denna?
(Malin) – Den är okej. Jag gillar den här bättre.
– Så du föredrar vitt?
– Jag vet inte, det spelar inte så stor roll. Men jag gillar den modellen.
– Och den där svarta?
– Nej, men kan du ge mig den där ljudgråa där borta?
Den som hänger där?
– Nej, den andra.
Den här?
– Ja, den. Och den som hänger brevid, den rosa.
– Okej, här har du. Ska du testa alla tre?
– Ja, jag tänkte det.

In the sports store:

(Erik) – What do you think about this one?
(Malin) – It‘s OK. I like this one better.
– So you prefer white?
– I don’t know, it doesn’t matter that much. But I like that model.
– And that black one?
– No, but could you give me that light grey one over there?
The one that hangs there?
– No, the other one.
This one?
– Yes, that one. And the one hanging next to it, the pink one.
– Alright, here you go. Are you gonna try all three?
– Yeah, that‘s my plan.

I provrummet:

(Malin) – Så vad tycker du om den här?
(Erik) – Den ser bra ut. Får jag se den gråa?
(Erik) – Okej, jag tycker bättre om den gråa.
(Malin) – Jag med faktiskt. Jag ska bara testa den rosa också.
(Malin) – Okej, den gråa är bäst. Jag tar den.
(Erik) – Jag håller med. Bra, då var vi klara!

In the fitting room:

(Malin) – So what do you think about this one?
(Erik) – It looks good. Can I see the grey one?
(Erik) – OK, I like the grey one better.
(Malin) – Me too actually. I’m just gonna try on the pink one too.
(Malin) – OK, the grey one is the best one. I’ll take that one.
(Erik) – I agree. Good, then we’re done!


Level 1:
Den :: That (one)
Den här :: This (one)
Den där :: (same as “den”, but can more excluding and specific, usually used when pointing to something)

Den/det also means it.
De also means they.
– Both de and dem are dom in spoken language – always!

Level 2:
Denna = Den här
Detta = Det här
Dessa = De här

The demonstrative pronouns den/det/de, trigger bestämd form (determined form):
that car :: den bilen.
this tree :: det här trädet
those streets :: de gatorna
those houses :: de husen

Level 3: For advanced learners – don’t get overwhelmed:
When you add adjectives into the mix, things get more complicated. When using the demonstrative pronouns den/det/de you have to add -a to the end of adjectives, no matter if they are plural or not!

the park :: parken
that park :: den parken
the parks :: parkerna
those parks :: de parkerna

the big park :: den stora parken
that big park :: den stora parken
the big parks :: de stora parkerna
those big parks :: de stora parkerna

2 thoughts on “Easy conversation: Shopping – Practice den/det/de”

  1. Thank you so much for the explanation! One question: if I say “denna stora parken” would that be correct? In order words, if you use those “denna-detta-dessa” words instead of “den-det-de” would you still have to add -a to the adjective?

    1. Hej! Kul att du gillar den:)

      denna = den här
      detta = det här
      dessa = de här

      You can use those interchangeably. The difference is that for ‘denna/detta/dessa’ it’s optional to use bestämd form, but only for the noun. These forms are correct:

      den här stora parken
      denna stora parken
      denna stora park
      (this big park)

      The first two are more spoken, and the last one is more literal. And yes, you always have to put the adjective in bestämd form when using ‘den/det/de (här)’ or ‘denna/detta/dessa’.

      And as a little note, if you say ‘den stora parken’, it means ‘that big park’ or ‘the big park’ depending on if you put the emphasis on ‘den’ or on the other words.

      den/det = that
      den/det här = this
      denna/detta = this

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