In this one we’ll focus on verbs.
So, the first thing we’re gonna do is having a look at the verbs we have learnt so far:
|to speak / talk
|to be called
|to walk / to go
And here you have some new ones:
|You know what that verb tense in the header is called? Imperative. It’s the tense you use when you tell someone to do something. In English, it’s a bit hard to spot, because there’s no obvious difference between the present tense and imperative. Look at this, and you’ll understand:
So in English, the present tense and the imperative look the same. In Norwegian they don’t.
As you should have noticed, all Norwegian verbs in infinitive end with a vowel (turn back one page if you haven’t noticed). This vowel is always -e, as long as the word consists of more than one syllable. One-syllabled words can end with any vowel.
The rule to form the imperative in Norwegian is:
|I eat fish.
|You come here every day.
||Come here every day!
|I don’t speak Norwegian.
||Don’t speak Norwegian!
|I’m sure you’re going to learn this.
Easy! That means that the imperative form of the verb å se (“to see”) is…
And the imperative of the verb å lære is…
To make it negative, put ikke in front of the verb:
Don’t speak English! = Ikke snakk engelsk!
Don’t see! = Ikke se!
- If the verb consists of more than one syllable, remove the last -e.
- If the verb consists of only one syllable, do nothing.
|Fun fact: verbs can be combined. Not only in Norwegian of course. Check out these English phrases:
I like to eat fish.
I love to play football.
The verbs are underlined.
We have already seen these two verbs in Norwegian: å like, å elske.
And in Norwegian it works in exactly the same way!
I like to eat fish. = Jeg liker å spise fisk.
I love to play football. = Jeg elsker å spille fotball.
So the formula is that the first verb goes in present tense (if we are talking about the present), and then the second verb goes in its infinitive form, with the infinitive marker (å), exactly as it does in English.
|“Modal verbs” sounds hard, but it’s not. The modal verbs are used as the first of two combined verbs, and they work exactly like “like” and “love” in the previous examples, with one exception: you don’t use the infinitive marker.We can have a look at some examples from English:
We must win this game!
This will be the best vacation ever!
As you see, we have combinations of two verbs, without “to” between them.
Now we’ll give you some Norwegian modal verbs. We don’t really need them in infinitive yet, so you’ll have them only in the present tense, which is the tense we’ll be working with. Be aware that the English translations aren’t always modal verbs in English.
|must / have to
This gives us the following examples:
I want to eat fish.
= Jeg vil
You have to (must) learn Norwegian.
= Du må
We can speak Norwegian.
= Vi kan
It’s the same as before, you just have to skip the “å
” when the verb is modal.
Be Verb and Have Verb in Norwegian
The present and past tenses of verbs in Norwegian are very simple to conjugate. All the forms are the same for each personal pronoun. The infinitive of the verb to be
in Norwegian is være
and the conjugated present tense form is er
and the past tense is var
. The infinitive of the verb to have
, and the conjugated present tense form is har
and the past tense is hadde
|være – to be
|| det er
ha – to have
To form the future tense of verbs, just add skal
(am/is/are going to) or vil
(will) before the infinitive. Jeg skal være
= I’m going to be; hun skal ha
= she will have; etc. (In simple sentences, either skal or vil are fine to express future actions, but in longer and more complex sentences, it is better to use vil.)
|Per has many houses.
||Per har mange hus.
|He lives in the red house.
||Han bor i det røde huset.
|Where is Tom’s ball?
||Hvor er Toms ball? *
|I have four nice watches.
||Jeg har fire fine klokker.
|The big man is ugly.
||Den store mannen er stygg.
|The girl is in the small tree.
||Jenta er i det lille treet.
|Norway is a very nice country.
||Norge er et veldig fint land.
|Arne and Kari are in a green car.
||Arne og Kari er i en grønn bil.
|The twelve flowers are red.
||De tolv blomstene er røde.
|Many days are nice.
||Mange dager er fine.
| Anita’s clocks are not bad.
||Anitas klokker er ikke dårlige. *
|We see Petter’s big house.
||Vi ser Petters hus. *