Scandinavian language challenge day 33

Today I worked through chapter 10 of Norwegian in three months, covering:

  • passive
  • present participle
  • compound words
  • more about prepositions
  • other words

Passive

The passive is formed using the auxiliary bli and the past participle. The agent of the action need not be mentioned, but if mentioned it is preceded by the preposition av (meaning by).


Huset blir malt
Huset ble malt
Huset er blitt malt
Huset var blitt malt
Huset skal/vil bli malt
Huset skal/vil bli malt

The house …
is being painted
was (being) painted
has been painted
had been painted
will be painted
would be painted

Huset er blitt malt/ var blitt malt emphasise the action. A shorter form Huset er malt / var malt emphasises the result.

A different form of the passive ends in -s, and is used mainly in the written language and mainly in the present tense, perfect and conditional:


Huset males
Huset skal/vil males
Huset skulle/ville males

The house…
is being painted
will be painted
would be painted

The -s passive is preferred after modal auxiliaries, both colloquially and in writing:

  • Huset bør males (the house should be painted)
  • Arbedet må gjøres (the work must be done)
  • Billetter kan kjøpes ved inngange
    (tickets can be bought at the entrance)

Examples of verbs with passive form but active meaning:

synes (think)
finnes (be, exist)
lykkes (succeed)

trives (thrive, feel happy)
minnes (remember)

  • det finnes (there is, there are)
  • det fantes ingen annan utvei (there seemed to be no other way out)
  • det har lykkes ham å nå sitt mål (he has succeeded in reaching his goal) note impersonal construction: det lykkes ham å …]

Some other present participles: susende (dashing); sjokkerende (shocking); økende (increasing); synkende (sinking)

Present participle

The present participle is formed by adding -ende to the stem of the verb. The -d is not pronounced.

It is mostly used as an adjective or adverb, but also as a noun:

  • en underholdende bok (an entertaining book)
  • brennende varm (burning hot)
  • den besøkende (the visitor)
  • den ansvarhavende (the person in change)

It is often used with verbs like komme, gå, stå, ligge and bli (stay)

  • de kom gående / kjørende / løpende
    (they came walking /driving/running)
  • han gikk haltende av sted (he limped off)
  • hun satt sørgende igjen (she was left mourning)
  • vi ble boende der i noen uker (we staked there for some weeks)

Other ways to translate the English present participle:

  • with an infinitive:
    • han så henne komme (he saw her coming)
    • å se er å tro (seeing is believing
    • jeg ser frem til å høre fra deg
      (I look forward to hearing from you)
  • with a subordinate clause
    • han brakk benet mens han spilte fortball
      (he broke his leg playing football)
    • da vi kom inn i rommet, fant vi ingen til stede
      (entering the room, we found no-one there)
  • with a co-ordinated clause
    • de stod der og så på hevrandre
      (they stood there looking at each other)

More about the prepositions i and på

Some phrases with i (in):

  • vi arbejder i en bank /butikk /et firma
    (we work in a bank / shop / firm)
  • vi er i kirken / selskap / stuen / entreen / første etasje /annan estasje
    (we are at church / at a party/ in the sitting room / in the entrance / on the ground floor / on the first floor)
  • vi går i byen / butikken / banken / kirken / teatrer / selskap
    (we go to town / shopping /to the bank / to church / to the theatre / to a party)

Some phrases with på:

  • vi arbejder på et kontor / et lager / en gård (we work in an office / in a storehouse / on a farm)
  • vi er på skolen / et møte / landet/ kjøkkenet / badet / soveværelset (we are at school / at a meeting / in the country, in the kitchen / in the bathroom / in the bedroom)
  • vi går på skolen / kontoret / arbeidet/ kino / ski (we go to school / the office / work / the cinema / a concert /skiing
  • på lange sikt (in the long term)

Some phrases with om:

  • visste du om det? (did you know about that?
  • han bad me om penger (he asked me for money)

Om is also a conjunction (if, whether):

  • jeg undres (på) om du kan hjelpe meg
    (i wonder whetehr you can help me)
  • vi vet ikke om det er sant eller ikke
    (we don’t know whether it’s true or not)

Some of the other words in this chapter

Nouns (like in English or German): fuglen (the bird); markedet (the market); gjesten (the guest); vertinnen (the hostess); selen (the seal); sjøen (the sea); hullet (the whole)

Othern ouns: vannet (water); formannen (chairman); restbelopet (arrears); slektningene (relations); tanken (the thought)

Verbs (like in English or German): overrekke (-rakte, -rakt, hand out); renne (rant, rent, run); fly / flyge (fløy, fløyet, fly); falle (falt, falt, fall); vokse (grow); krype (krøp; krøpet, crawl); fortsette (-satte, -satt), continue, keep on); regne (calculate); vite (visste, visst, jeg vet, know); unngå (avoid); fange (catch); ta (tok, tatt, take); ta seg sammen (pull yourself together); skjelle (-lte, -lt, scold); merke seg (notice); bryte sammen (collapse)

Verbs: synes synd på (feel sorry for); skuffe (disappoint); krever (demand); glede seg til (lok forward to); kjøre øver (run over); pass seg for (look out for); huske (remember); drepe (kill); pågå (-gikk, -gått, go on); få noen til å gjøre noe (make somebody do something)

Adjectives: fornøyd (content); vant til (used to); grønn (green); gal (crazy); smart (smart, clever); tåpelig (silly); sperret (barred)

Other words and phrases: mot (towards); ved a (by); innen fristens utløp (within the prescribed period); i ganske lang tid (for quite a long time); sikker (sure); årene som kommer (the years to come); bare tanken på (the mere thought of)

Some compound words: arbeidsbetingelser (working conditions); barneoppdragelsen (the education of children); å forhåndsbestille (to book in advance); lønnsforøyelsen (wage increase); hårsbreed (hairsbreadth);

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