En elev i Hong Kong der studerer dansk

Time expressions

Here are some time expressions I have collected, catergorized to facilitate speaking and writing.

Past or before

this morning i morges
yesterday afternoon i eftermiddags
last evening i aftes
last night natten til i dag
i nat
last Friday i fredags
Friday evening fredag aften
earlier this week tidligere på ugen
last week for en uge siden
in the last several days de seneste dage
an evening some time before forleden aften
last year sidste år
i fjor
last autumn i fjor efterår
in the last 3 years i de sidste tre år
10 years ago for 10 år siden
before før
the past fortiden (n.), fx. fra fortiden

From an earlier to a later point in time

until indtil
since yesterday siden i går
for 2 days på to dage
for many years i årevis
for 100 years i 100 år
since 1999 siden 1999
until 2 years ago indtil for 2 år siden


meanwhile i mellemtiden
at once med det samme
recently for nylig
currently for tiden

A point in time

10:10 ti minutter over ti (klokken can be omitted) (no preposition) (e.g. Lotte kommer ti minutter over ti)
before daybreak før daggry
at noon midt på dagen
at the end of afternoon sidst på eftermiddagen
Wednesday before daybreak før daggry onsdag
Wednesday night natten til Torsdag
his birthday is the 6th of February det er hans fødselsdag den sjette februar
at the end of January enden januar (no preposition)
in summer 2009 i sommeren 2009
1977 nitten hundrede syvoghalvfjerds


nitten syvoghalvfjerds

2007 to tusind og syv

Future or later

after that bagefter
after a while efter et stykke tid
today before noon i formiddag
this afternoon i eftermiddag
this evening i aften
tonight for natten

i nat

the day after tomorrow i overmorgen
this Monday på mandag
before this Friday før på Fredag
next week i næste uge
the coming Sunday morning på søndag om formiddagen

søndag formiddag

this year i år
in a year i et år
in the future i fremtiden

A period

a few minutes et par minutter
within 10 minutes om ti minutter
a while et stykke tid
during the time before noon i løbet af formiddagen
for 3 days i tre dage
within a week om en uge
within 14 days om 14 dage
for a year i et år
for the whole year hele året rundt
a year om året


sometimes somme tider
once every hous hver time
once every day, for a week hver dag i en uge
on weekdays om hverdagen
every Sunday morning hver søndag formiddag
once a week en gang om ugen
every summer om sommeren
for the whole year hele året rundt
once every 4 years hvert fjerde år

First time, second time etc…

the first time ever for første gang nogensinde
it’s the second time now for anden gang
a time ad gangen, fx. fire år ad gangen, for the national assembly

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  1. * Læseren says:

    flot arbejde!

    last autumn = sidste efterår

    Udgivet 9 years, 8 months ago
  2. * Adeline says:

    Tak! I see, jeg skal huske det.

    Udgivet 9 years, 8 months ago
  3. * Carsten Boll says:

    Hey Adeline, just a few comments 🙂

    for 2 days på to dage

    Not sure about this one, tbh. I’m thinking it ought to be ‘i to dage’, as in ‘I did that for two days, then..’ becoming ‘Det gjorde jeg i to dage, så..’. There is a difference in aspect between ‘i’ and ‘på’ here. ‘i’ conveys something continuous, unfinished (imperfektum), whereas ‘på’ conveys something finished, ended (perfektum). Not sure how strong you are regarding grammar, and I don’t mean to offend you by stating the obvious 🙂

    at the end of January enden januar (no preposition)

    Personally, I would say ‘i slutningen af Januar’. I have never heard ‘enden Januar’ used, but perhaps it’s a regional expression.

    today before noon i formiddag

    This is broadly correct, but I think it could be refined a bit. Consider that ‘formiddag’ is a single noun, like ‘noon’ (middag), så there is not an explicit need to specify that it’s ‘before’ something. This is probably obvious. But perhaps it makes more sense to think of ‘i formiddag’ as being similar to ‘at noon’. I’d probably translate it as you have, but when using Danish, it’s probably better to think of it like this.

    in a year i et år

    You’ve got the wrong preposition here, I am afraid – at least if you want to convey a future tense/aspect. Instead you should use ‘om et år’ for that, so that ‘I am going to China in a year’ becomes ‘Jeg tager til Kina om et år’. To illustrate, ‘i et år’ means ‘for a year’; ‘jeg tager til Kina i et år’ means ‘I’m going to China for a year’.

    within 10 minutes om ti minutter

    within a week om en uge

    within 14 days om 14 dage

    Similarly, these Danish phrases express something akin to the French future proche (‘the near future’). Which is to say ‘in 10 minutes’, ‘in a week’, and ‘in 14 days’. If what you want to say is i.e ‘I’ll be at the theatre within 10 minutes’, you should use ‘inden 10 minutter’; ‘before 10 minutes’. I’m guessing this was once short for ‘before 10 minutes has passed’, but lost the final part of the phrase over time.

    sometimes somme tider

    Nothing really wrong here, just that you can also use ‘nogle gange’. I can’t pinpoint the difference, although I am sure it’s there. Nothing is ever random in language 🙂


    Udgivet 9 years, 8 months ago
  4. * Adeline says:

    Hej Carsten,

    Tusind tak ! I shall study your invaluable remarks more fully later.
    Yes, I am aware of what is the imperfect and the perfect, as I’ve also learnt some other languages, e.g. German, Latin. I should observe more the usage of “i” and “på” in those phrases regard to the aspect, then.

    About “i formiddag”: Since this table is to aid my writing and speaking (speech production), in my mind I actually have Chinese terms in the first column! In Chinese, we use a single word to designate the period of 9am to 12pm: “upper-day” (to translate very literally), so it’s quite like Danish here. In English this period is called “morning”, right? But in Chinese we like to make it a bit more distinct, so in my mind, “morning” is about 7am to 9am or so, 9am to 11am or so is “upper-day” (with fuzzy boundaries), or Danish “formiddag”. — Am I right about the Danish?

    The other points I’ll learn and correct them in the original post later, for want of time now. Thanks again!

    Udgivet 9 years, 8 months ago
  5. * Niels says:

    Within a week – “i løbet af en uge” or “inden for en uge”. Within 14 days – “i løbet af 14 dage” or “inden for 14 dage”.

    “Om 14 dage” means in exactly two weeks time.

    Udgivet 7 years, 2 months ago
  6. * Anonym says:

    Hej Niels,

    Mange tak, that is very helpful!
    I reply quite late, sorry. I wanted to revise my Danish more so that I could reply and write something meaningful in Danish, but I was too busy in the last four weeks, so the plan failed. So I had better reply in English anyway.
    Jeg skal stræbe at lære sproget.


    Udgivet 7 years, 1 month ago

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