Danish word of the day: uenig

We hope our examples make this article clearer. Let us know if you don't agree.
We hope our examples make this article clearer. Let us know if you don't agree. Photo by Clarissa Watson on Unsplash
The Danish word ‘uenig’ has no exact equivalent in the English language, we’re sure you’ll agree.

Why do I need to know uenig? 

There’s a number of ways you can use uenig, meaning to be in disagreement, usually in sentences that sound a bit different in English.

It’s a word that’s topical at the time of writing, with the Covid-19 pandemic nearing the end of its second year and Danish health officials asking the public to try to keep patient at a time when tempers are fraying.

READ ALSO: Denmark campaign calls for tolerance amid Covid differences

So what does it mean?

To be uenig is to disagree or be in disagreement over something (the antonym, enig, is used when you agree).

It’s not an exact like-for-like with the English ‘disagree’, however.

You can say “I disagree” in English but not in Danish where you’d have to reword as jeg er uenig, “I am in disagreement”. This is because uenig (and enig) are adjectives and not verbs. The noun for “disagreement” in Danish is an uenighed.

Two people can be uenige, in a disagreement, but as the subject of a sentence the disagreement is an uenighed between two people.

There’s also an important distinction relating to prepositions. To be uenig med hende is to disagree with her, but to be uenig i noget is to disagree on something someone has said or claimed. Two or more people can also be uenige om (about) something.

Hopefully, the examples below will make this a bit clearer.

How do I use it?

Jeg er uenig med dig – I disagree with you.

Han sagde, at bananer smager bedre end æbler. Det er jeg uenig i. – He said bananas taste better than apples. I disagree with that.

De to politiske partier gik fra mødet uden at have opnået en større enighed i forhold til spørgsmålet. – The two political parties left the meeting without achieving any greater agreement over the issue.

READ ALSO: More Danish words of the day

 Do you have any favourite or unusual Danish words you’d like to nominate as Word of the Day, or want us to explain? Let us know via email.

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