quarta-feira, 25 de julho de 2012

Use of "not" in Norwegian

In Norwegian there is much less use of the auxiliary verb "to do". For example, in the phrase "He does not read the paper every day", the translation to Norwegian would omit the auxiliar verb "does". Instead would also the negative form be with only the verb "to read". In addition, the negative form, as well as gradient words like: a little etc, comes after the verb. The phrase becomes therefore, in Norwegian, "Han leser ikke avisen hver dag".

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sexta-feira, 13 de julho de 2012

Word order in questions

One of the difficult areas of Norwegian is the word-order in phrases. The good news is that if you make mistakes in this area, Norwegians will probably still understand what you are saying. However, you will sound very weird making these kinds of mistakes. What you should look for in phrases when learning Norwegian is the location of the verb in relation to the noun or pronoun.
One of the situations where the verb is in front of the noun is in questions. This is a soft start, because you can remember it by thinking of English where often the verb "To do" comes in front of the noun/pronoun, or even other examples where the verb only is first. For example the question "do you live here?". In Norwegian the verb "to do" is not used. Instead only the main verb is being used, and this is the one being conjugated. Unlike in simple statements, in questions the verb comes before the noun/pronoun.

Consider these few simple translations from English.
- Where do you live?
In Norwegian: Hvor Bor du? (Bor = present tense of Å bo; du = you)

Here is an example where main verb also is first, also in English.
- Is he smart?
In Norwegian: Er han smart?

In summary: In Norwegian with Hv-questions (similar to English wh-questions), the Hv-word comes first followed by the main verb that is conjugated. In non Hv-questions the verb comes first, followed by the noun/pronoun and possibly and adjective.

I also wrote an overview article about learning the Norwegian language:
How to learn Norwegian.
Online Norwegian Classes

quarta-feira, 4 de julho de 2012

Basic tenses - Present tense

For the foreign learner, there are a few difficult areas in Norwegian. Present tense is not one of those areas. As a general rule the present tense consist of simply adding "r" to the infinite form. Unlike most languages, including English, there are no differences between the singular or plural form.

E.g. the verb "to eat" is in Norwegian "å spise".

Conjugated to the present form this then simply becomes:
Jeg spiser (I eat)
Du spiser (You eat)
Han/hun spiser (He/she eats)
Vi spiser (We eat)
Dere spiser (you eat)
De spiser (they eat)

There are in Norwegian, as in other languages, irregular verbs.
These are, however, a topic another day.