Battleship Verbs Ep. 1 (at have or at få)

Language Terrors

Welcome to Battleship Verbs episode 1, coming to you live from my fingertips. I don't know why (jeg ved ikke hvorfor) a verb series needs a cinema-like introduction, but I guess anything will make it more exciting (mere spændende).

If you are here, you must be looking for new ways to level up in Danish. We have all experienced (vi har alle sammen oplevet) traumas during language learning: the use of the wrong verb or verb form in public.

You may have walked away and realized ten minutes later, then turned to chase down the person you were talking with while shouting, “wait, wait, I know the correct way to say it.”

I understand you.

Jeg forstår dig godt.

So here it is, the first in a series of comparisons to help you drop the verb bombs in the right places.


At have is all about en tilstand (a state) and is aktivt (active), whereas At få is all about en forandring (a change) and is passivt (passive). So your current tilstand could be that you have a girlfriend or boyfriend:

Jeg har en kæreste.

I have a boyfriend/girlfriend.

But if you got your first girlfriend when you were 15 years old, this was when a change of state happened.

Jeg fik min første kæreste da jeg var 15 år.

I got my first girlfriend when I was 15.

Aktivt (active) and passivt (passive) examples are when you either have / own something (at eje = to own) or if you will get something in the future.

Jeg har en bil (jeg ejer den).

I have a car (I own it).

Jeg får en bil (nogen er i proces med at give mig den).

I am getting / will get a car (someone is in the process of giving it to me).

This means you can consider which verb to use depending on whether you own something or you are going to get something.


So, you can say:

Da jeg var 17 år, havde jeg en smuk kæreste.

When I was 17 years old I had a beautiful girlfriend.

Jeg har haft en kæreste i tre år.

I have had a girlfriend for three years.

These two examples show a state, It was like this/it is like this, end! You don't technically own your girlfriend, but you have her. It helps to think of ownership.


With the verb At få, you can think of simple sentences where you compare two things: if this happens, then I will… for example. The state changes or has changed.

Hvis jeg kysser for meget, får jeg ondt i læberne.

If I kiss too much I get pain in my lips/my lips hurt.

Vi kyssede i en time, og kort efter fik jeg ondt i læberne.

We kissed for an hour and shortly after my lips started to hurt.

Both verbs can form a tag team in the past perfect form: havde fået (had gotten):

Han troede, at han aldrig kunne få en date, men efter at havde fået nyt tøj, havde han ikke nogen problemer.

He thought he could never get a date, but after he had gotten new clothes, he had no problems.


Nice! Now that you have some inspiration to talk about kissing and dates, which is awesome, it´s time to drop those verb bombs. Below is a little task for you. You can print it or write down the answers. If you want some feedback please send an email to with subject line HAVE ELLER FÅ.

Indsæt have eller få i den rigtige form af verbet.

Insert have or få in the correct verb form.

1. Det er rart at ______ noget varm vin på en kold dag.

2. Du må ikke ______ min cykel, før jeg ______ købt en ny.

3. Hun ______ sovet i 8 timer.

4. Når det blæser meget, plejer han at ______ hovedpine.

5. Hans mor snakkede alt for meget, og derfor ______ hun ondt i kæben.

6. Jeg ______ lige ______ en ny motorcykel.

7. Jeg ______ dig.

8. Min bror ______ en ny iPad, men han ______ aldrig ______ den brugt.

9. Han _____ et stort hus.

10. Jeg troede, at han ikke kunne ______ et job, men efter at han ______ ______ lidt hjælp, lykkedes det for ham.

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