1. Language Rules

Capitalization Rules

The English language has a more widespread use of capital letters than Danish. In Danish, only the names of persons, places, and the first letter of a sentence should be capitalized, unless you capitalize a whole word or sentence for emphasis. Use only initial capital letters in the following cases:

  • The first word of a sentence or title.
  • After a colon, when the sentence introduced is an independent clause (has a verb and a subject).
  • In items of a list that are complete sentences (see Numbered And Bulleted Lists section).
  • Proper names.
  • Keep accents and diacritical marks on capital letters.

Note: Nationalities are not capitalized, but countries are (dansk but Danmark).

Numbered And Bulleted Lists

Numbered lists

Numbered lists are useful for sequential steps and are often meant to show a hierarchical relationship.

Most numbered lists are introduced by a main clause followed by a colon. The first word of each item

should be capitalized if it is a complete sentence (with a verb and a subject), and the sentence should

also have ending punctuation.

Således beskytter du sonden:

  1. Rengør iflg. retningslinjerne.
  2. Sæt beskyttelseshætten på.

Bulleted lists

Bulleted lists generally fall into three categories. The examples below show the most common bulleted lists and how to punctuate and capitalize each one.

Unbroken syntax: no colon, no final punctuation of items, and items usually not capitalized. Example:

Inklusionskriterier for patienter omfatter normalt

  • en aldersgrænse
  • en graviditetsprøve
  • en blodprøve

Typical list: main clause followed by a colon, no final punctuation of items, and items usually not capitalized. Example:

I dette kapitel vil du lære at:

  • regulere plantevæksten
  • at indsamle bioaktive stoffer fra planter
  • dyrke fremtidige planter

Complex list: main clause followed by a colon, possible final punctuation of items when these are complete sentences. Example:

Anvend en af de følgende metoder for at hente yderligere resultater:

  • Flyt produktet til et andet lokale, og lad det stå natten over ved omgivende temperatur.
  • Anvend et nyt produkt fra samme prøvelot.

Decimal & Thousands Separators

  • Decimal points become decimal commas (1,23). For numbers smaller than 1, you must always put 0 before the decimal comma (0,123).
  • Use the dot as the standard separating character for numbers above 1,000. Example:

EN: 10,000

DA: 10.000

  • Use the decimal comma as the standard separating character for decimal fractions. Example:

EN: 8.8TB

DA: 8,8 TB


The currency symbol should be placed after the number and must be separated from it by a non-breaking space. Example:

100 €

4.138,23 €


Units of measurement

There should be one space between the number and a unit of measurement (degrees, meters kilograms, etc.), examples:

60 GB

2,54 m

37,5 °C


Depending on the context, dates can be written in full or abbreviated. The most important thing is to be consistent in the same text. Be aware that U.S. dates are given as “month-day-year”. Follow the Danish standard instead “” or “yyyy-mm-dd”. Examples:

  1. juli 2014

den 1. januar 2008

  1. januar 2008




Note: Months are not capitalized (18. april 1990), similarly, names of days are not capitalized (Jeg så ham onsdag den 18. april 1990).

Abbreviation for months: JAN, FEB, MAR, APR, MAJ, JUN, JUL, AUG, SEP, OKT, NOV, DEC

Abbreviation for days: SØN, MAN, TIR, ONS, TOR, FRE, LØR

In Denmark the calendar week starts with the Monday and ends with the Sunday


We would normally use a full stop instead of a colon to separate hours and minutes in the 24-hour format in Danish. Do localize 12-hour format (i.e., “a.m.”/ “p.m.”) to 24-hour format. Use a period (.) to separate hours and minutes. Do use leading zeros for single digits. Examples:



Note that hours and minutes should be separated by a period.

Phone Numbers

A telephone number in Denmark always consists of 8 digits and it is normally written without any periods or hyphens but with spaces to separate the numbers and should be grouped and separated per local custom. Examples:

22 45 65 78 or 2245 6578

If country code should be indicated it can be written as follows:

+45 22 45 65 78 or +45 2245 6578


A standard address in Denmark is written the following way:

First name, middle name, last name or Business name

Street name, House number, Floor number (if necessary Left, Right, Center)

Postal number, City


Hans Henrik Hansen

Købermagergade 68, st. tv.

2800 København K

Punctuation Rules

In typography, commas, periods, colons, semicolons, exclamation points, question marks immediately follow the word and are not preceded by a blank space.

Note: A dash ( – ) is separated from the words before and after it by a space

Bulleted Paragraphs

Do not break a bulleted paragraph across a page or column boundary. Start each bullet point with a capital letter. Maintain format and punctuation consistency within the same list (e.g.: put a full stop at the end of all or none of the bullet points in the list). Punctuation in bulleted lists:

  • If bulleted items are complete sentences: each ends with a period.
  • If bulleted items are not complete sentences or are short sentences (eg. a short list of characteristics, advantages, functions): don’t use a period.
  • For items in a list (chapters, sections, products, system requirements, etc.): do not use a period.


Use the traditional rules for commas (grammatisk kommatering). Don’t forget a comma between imperatives (Klik på Start, og vælg Indstillinger).

Use of hyphen

Avoid the use of double hyphen (- – ) use one ( – ) instead. The hyphen can be used both without preceding and trailing spaces in intervals. Examples:

§ 15-17

24. december – 4. januar

Note: The last hyphen is actually what is called an en dash (“tankestreg”) which is a bit longer than the hyphen but shorter than the “em dash”.

Hyphens are also used to compound foreign words with Danish words or abbreviations. Examples:





Note: Many foreign words are now part of the Danish language and can be written as one word. Example: batchprogram

Compounded words

In Danish, words are compounded into a single word. Examples:




Similarly, in Danish two English words will often be joined together as one word. Examples:

computer program = computerprogram

printer driver = printerdriver

user interface = brugergrænseflade

If one of the words in the combination is a foreign word, a hyphen can be used to improve the readability. Examples:



Accented E

Accents must always be used in en/et to avoid misunderstandings in a sentence. Example: Udelukkende til brug på én patient.

Quotation Marks

Use straight double quotes ( ” ) as opposed to curly ones: “Dette er et eksempel

på rigtig tegnsætning.”

Exclamation Mark

The use of exclamation marks in English is more common than in other languages. In Danish, it is preferable to avoid it except in cases when the context really requires a special emphasis. Example:

EN: Take the leap to success — with confidence!

DA: Tag springet mod succes – med selvsikkerhed.

Spacing: periods and commas

Periods and commas are followed by one space, not two. Example:

Vi arbejder for at kunne give mennesker, dyr og planter en bedre fremtid. Biovidenskab er en del af vores hverdag.

Hyphenation Rules

Never hyphenate the last word on a line in order to make it fit. Most texts will be typeset, and this normally changes the layout completely.

If you are asked to proofread a galley, follow these rules:

  • Do not hyphenate proper names, one-syllable words, abbreviations, and numbers written with digits.
  • For non-compound words, the main rule is to leave one consonant before the vowel on a new line.
  • Regardless of the previous rule, conjugated forms can be hyphenated between the stem and the conjugated ending to improve readability. Example: vægg-ene
  • Compound words and words with easily recognizable prefixes and suffixes are hyphenated between their natural parts. Examples: bil-hjul, bade-kåbe, villa-kvarter