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Which is most important when learning a new language – grammar or words (vocabulary)? Well, most native speakers will forgive you if you make a grammatical mistake or two. Without basic words, however, you can only point and smile. Here is a neat trick to increase your vocabulary: Learn micro-phrases with two or three words that naturally belong together! In that way you’ll also train your grammar sensibility without even thinking about it.
Some phrases make an ”echo”: You think a thought in English. In Danish, you tænker en tanke. You also drømmer en drøm (dream a dream), synger en sang (sing a song), and spiller et spil (play a game). Maybe you even drikker en drik (drink a drink), lugter en lugt (smell a smell), smager en smag (taste a taste), løber et løb (”run a run”) or digter et digt (compose a poem).
Other phrases are ”echoes” with a slight variation:
• at bygge en bygning (to build a building)
• at tegne en tegning (to draw a drawing)
• at male et maleri (to paint a painting)
• at bo i en bolig (to live in a home)
Some ”word couples” were simply meant to be – for example, you can’t eat without food. Throw in a jeg [yay] (I) in front to make simple phrases to memorize:
• Jeg spiser mad. (I eat food.)
• Jeg skriver et brev. (I write [a] letter.)
• Jeg kører bil. (I drive [a] car.)
• Jeg sover i en seng. (I sleep in a bed.)
• Vi går en tur. (We go for a walk.)
• Solen skinner. (The sun is shining. [This is what it does!])
• Katten mjaver. (The cat is mewing. [Who else could it be?])
Rhyming words are also very useful for learners:
• Spis is! (Eat ice-cream!)
• bog – klog (book – clever)
• bage – kage – smage (bake – cake – taste)