Scandinavian language challenge day 18

Today I worked through chapter 5 of Norwegian in three months, covering:

  • the past tense of weak verbs and strong verbs
  • adverbs
  • word order
  • ordinal numbers

Past tense: weak verbs

Most weak verbs form the past tense by adding the suffix -et or -te to the stem. (Verbs with a stem ending in -ll, -mm or -nn drop the last letter before adding the suffix). Examples:

  • kastet from å kaste [på] (to throw [at])
  • brukte from å bruke (to use)

Some of these verbs have an alternative colloquial (and Nynorsk) form ending in -a instead. Examples: mistet or mista (lost); ventet or venta (waited); snakket or snakka (talked); stoppet or stoppa (stopped).


Some weak verbs add -de or -dde. Examples: levde [from leve] (lived); hadde [from ha] (had); døde [from dø] (died).
For some of these weak verbs, many Norwegians still use a traditional form ending in -et . Examples: levde or levet (lived); bygde [from bygge] or bygget (built); eide or eiet (owned); bøyde or bøyet (bent)


A few weak verbs change the stem vowel before adding the suffix. Examples:

Infinitive
selge
spørre
gjøre
bringe

Past
solgte
spurte
gjorde
brakte

Meaning
sold
asked
did
brought


Other weak verbs (like English or German): mene (mean); lese (read); sende (send); føle (feel); drømme (dream); lære (learn); fylle (fill); blø (bleed); kle (dress); skade (hurt); koke (boil); høre (hear); regne (rain); ende (end); begynne (begin); danse (dance); vende tilbake (go back, return); skru på (turn on); roe noen ned (calm someone down); løpe av sted (run away); falle i søvn (fall asleep)

Other weak verbs: trenge (need); tenne (light); leke (play, as in Danish lege, source of Lego: leg godt, play well); gjemme (hide); bo (live); snu (turn); vri (twist); hente (fetch); steke (fry); hende (happen); lukke (close); skylle (pour); bry sig om (worry about);

Past tense: strong verbs

Strong verbs do not add a suffix in their past tense, but most instead change the stem vowel. Examples:

Infinitive
være
bli
skrive
fryse
drikke
si
gi
finne

se
hjelpe
la
ta
skjære
bære
trekke

Past
var
ble
skrev
frøs
drakk
sa
gav
fant
gikk

hjalp
lot
tok
skar
bar
trakk

Meaning
was
became
wrote
froze
drank
said
gave
found
went
saw
helped
let
took
cut
carried
pulled

Example: Vi ble gjennomvåte (we got wet through)

A few strong verbs do not change their stem vowel, for example:

Infinitive
komme
sove
løpe
gråte

Past
kom
sov
løp
gråt

Meaning
came
slept
ran
cried

Other strong verbs (like English or German): se etter (look for); sette seg [past: satte] (sit down); dråg på fjelltur [past: drog] (go on a mountain trip); gå på (en) rangel (go boozing); se på fjernsejn (watch TV)

Adverbs

Some adverbs have the same form as the neuter singular of an adjective. Example: klok (wise), klokt (wisely)

Adverbs add no -t if they are formed from an adjective ending in -ig or in -t preceded by another consonant. Examples: plutselig (suddenly); fort (quickly).

Some other adjectives / adverbs ending in -lig: fullstendig (completely); forferdelig (terribly); daglig (daily); virkelig (real); pyntelig (proper); hyggelig (pleasant);

Some adverbs add the suffix -vis. Examples: vanligvis (usually); heldigvis (fortunately); naturligvis (naturally); sannsynlgvis (probably)

Other adverbs:

  • fremover (forwards); bakover (backwards); oppover (upwards); nedover (downwards);
  • overfor (above); nedenfor (below); innenfor (inside); utenfor (outside);
  • meget /svær (very); altfor mye (not very);
  • nok (enough); lite / litt ((a) little);
  • straks (immediately);
  • nå (now); sennere (later;) før (before);
  • ennå / enda (still);
  • ellers (otherwise);
  • ofte (often); sjelden (seldom);
  • knapt / neppe (hardly); bare (only); nettopp (just); især (particularly);
  • endog /selv (even);
  • likevel (yet);
  • kanskje (perhaps)
  • litt etter litt (gradually)
  • nærmere (nearer)
  • til slutt (finally)

Word order

When the sentence begins with an adverb or adverbial phrase, the verb and subject are inverted (so the verb goes in second place, so called V2).

  • I gaten var det mange mennesker.
    In the street there were many people.

Adverbs do not go between the verb and subject:

  • Han leser alltid avisen.
    He is always reading the newspaper.
  • De drikker aldri kaffee.
    They never drink coffee.

Ordinal numbers

Most ordinals are formed by adding the suffix -ende, -nde or -de to the cardinal. Exceptions:

først
annen (andre)
tredje
fjerde

1st
2nd
3rd
4th

femte
sjette
ellevte
tolvte

5th
6th
11th
12th

For det første (firstly); for det andret (or andre) (secondly); for det tredje (thirdly).

Hvert fjerda år (every 4 years)

Traditionally and colloquially, ordinals are used in fractions, for example: to tredjedeler (two third parts = 2/3). But schoolbooks use cardinals (to tredeler).

Some of the other words in this chapter

Nouns (like English or German): steinen (the stone); lyden (the sound, German Laut); vinden (the wind); herren (the gentleman); iskremen (ice cream); regnfrakken (raincoat); bestemmelsesstedet (the destination); dusjen (shower); stunden (the while); ettermiddagen (the afternoon)

Other nouns: treningsdrakten (track suit); selskapet (party)

Adjectives (like English or German): noen (some); kraftig (hard); langsom (slow); oppmerksom (attentive); rask (quick); søt (sweet); sterk (strong / bad); varm (hot); hele (whole); godt (nice); forberedt (prepared); overfult (overcroweded);

Other adjectives: stakkars (poor); fornøyd (pleased);

redd (frightened); klok (wise)

mot (towards); hverandre (each other); fordi (because)

Phrases: til frokost (for breakfast); i (meget) stor fart (at a (very)) high speed); komme frem til (arrive at)

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