Danish Language Blog

Remember the words you forget Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Vocabulary

(Photo courtesy of Cyron at Flickr, CC License.)

(Photo courtesy of Cyron at Flickr, CC License.)

Together with my students at a language course, I recently found a great way of activating det passive ordforråd (the passive vocabulary). I wrote a simple word on tavlen (the blackboard), asking my students to find its modsætning (opposite). Then we picked another word, found its ”opposite”, and the game went on and on and on… The students were surprised how many words they knew! 🙂

Let’s play this game here on the blog. I’ll add only one translation, the other you’ll have to add in your mind!

god (good) – dårlig

sulten (hungry) – mæt

tom (empty) – fuld

fuld (drunk) – ædru

lille (small) – stor

dag (day) – nat

kvinde (woman) – mand

mørk (dark) – lys

hvid (white) – sort

her (here) – der

trist (sad) – glad

tung (heavy) – let

let (easy) – svær

ude (outside) – inde

land (countryside) – by

ung (young) – gammel

tynd (thin) – tyk

at græde (to weep) – at grine

sund (healthy) – usund

fjende (enemy) – ven

krig (war) – fred

had (hate) – kærlighed

spørgsmål (question) – svar

klog (knowledgeable) – dum

bjerg (mountain) – dal

syg (ill) – rask

farlig (dangerous) – tryg

smuk (beautiful) – grim

kedelig (boring) – sjov

at huske (to remember) – at glemme

Now, that isn’t too svær, is it? 🙂 Many words have a ”twin” or a ”partner” that somehow is linked to it without being an actual opposite. Take for instance

hund (dog) – kat

at spise (to eat) – at drikke

at skynde sig (to hurry) – at vente

Do you agree with those? What are the opposites or ”partners” of

is (ice)

hav (sea)

ansigt (face)

fod (foot)

stilhed (silence)

kød (meat)

at smile (to smile)

at snakke (to talk)

blå (blue)

regn (rain)


Sometimes, words seem to come in sets of 3 or 4: far, mor, børn (dad, mum, kids) – sol, måne, stjerne (sun, moon, star) – nord, syd, øst, vest (N, S, E, W) – øre, næse, øje, mund (ear, nose, eye, mouth). Maybe we could ”gamify” those sets as well…

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.