A Grammatical Query

“Vi har hatt tre prøver den siste uka, og i morgen har vi engelskprøve.” translating as “We have had three tests this last week, and tomorrow we have an English test.” Memrise lesson.

Yet the Norwegian word for “this” is “dette”, so why does she not say “dette siste uka,” rather than “den siste uka.”

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Hi @daisy2chain

It’s like the difference between “this” and “that” in English.

The noun’s gender is what decides whether or not we use “den/denne” or “det/dette”.

  • Den = That
    Det = That

  • Denne = This
    Dette = This

A minute (“minutt”) is a neuter gender, therefore we use “Dette/Det” (This/That).

Whilst a boy (“gutt”) is a masculine gender, therefore we use “Den/Denne”. We also use “Den/Denne” for nouns that are of a feminine gender.

For example:
This minute = Dette minuttet
That minute = Det minuttet

This boy = Denne gutten
That boy = Den gutten

For the sake of translation, “This last week” means “Denne siste uka” whilst “Den siste uka” means “The last week”.

I hope this helped you understand why it’s “Den/Denne siste uka” and not “Det/Dette siste uka”.

Best regards,

Thank you.