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Norwegian Grammar Reference Help Contents

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Verbs Nouns Articles Adjectives Adverbs Pronouns Prepositions Conjunctions Time & Numbers Sentence Structure Correspondence
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Key Verbs Basic Form & Present Tense Past Tense Irregular Verbs Auxiliary Verbs Passive Verbs Verbs Ending in -s Verbs Used in Other Ways

Key Verbs
English to be I am you are (familiar sing.) you are (polite sing.) he is she is it is (common gender) it is (neuter gender) we are you are (familiar pl.) you are (polite pl.) they are English to have I have you have (familiar sing.) you have (polite sing.) he has she has it has (common gender) it has (neuter gender) we have you have (familiar pl.) you have (polite pl.) they have Norwegian vre jeg er du er De er han er hun er den er det er vi er dere er De er de er Norwegian ha jeg ha du har De har han har hun har den har det har vi har dere har De har de har

Basic Form & Present Tense

Norwegian verbs do not change with the person (e.g. I hear = jeg hrer or he hears = han hrer). The majority of infinitive Norwegian verbs end with either an unstressed e or a stressed vowel. In both cases, the present tense is formed by adding an r, for example: English Infinitive to speak to eat to run to use to see to sew Norwegian Present Tense snakker spiser lper bruker ser syr

Infinitive snakke spise lpe bruke se sy

A few verbs form the present tenses differently, for example: to do to know gjre vite gjr vet

Norwegian does not have the equivalent of the English -ing form. The Norwegian equivalent of the English -ing is expressed in the same manner as the simple present.

Past Tense
Some Norwegian verbs are regular, which means that there is no change of the stem vowel. Irregular Norwegian verbs change. Like English, Norwegian has a simple past tense (e.g. spoke), the perfect tense (e.g. have spoken) and a pluperfect tense (e.g. had spoken). All formed in a manner similar to English. The perfect and the pluperfect tenses are comprised of the past participle (e.g. spoken) and the appropriate tense of have, for example: Infinite have ha be vre Present have har am er Past had hadde was var Perfect have had har hatt have been har vrt Pluperfect had had hadde hatt had been hadde vrt

English Norwegian English Norwegian

To create the simple past tense of most regular Norwegian verbs, add ede to the stem of the verb. If the infinitive of the verb has a double consonant before the final e, the past tense retains the double consonant. To create the past participle, add et to the stem of the verb. Retain the double consonant of the infinitive if it has one, for example: Infinitive to kiss kysse to cough hoste Past kissed kysset coughed hostet Perfect have kissed har kysset have coughed har hostet

English Norwegian English Norwegian

A small group of Norwegian verbs add te to the stem to form the past tense and t to form the past participle, for example: Infinitive to eat spise Past eated spiste Perfect have eaten har spist

English Norwegian

Irregular Verbs
English ask ask/pray bring come count do follow get give grease/butter lay lie put/set say see/look sell sit stay/become take walk/leave Infinitive sprre be bringe komme telle gjre flge f gi smre legge ligge sette si se selge sitte bli ta g Norwegian Past Perfect spurte har spurt bad har bedt brakte har brakt kom har/er kommet telte har telt gjorde har gjort fulgte har fulgt fikk har ftt gav har gitt smurte har smurt la har lagt l har ligget satte har satt sa har sagt s har sett solgte har solgt satt har sittet ble har blitt tok har tatt gikk har gtt

Auxiliary Verbs
Shall, can , and will belong to the key group of verbs which are indispensable for use in conjunction with other verbs. Like English, these Norwegian verbs have no command form but, unlike their English counterparts (with the exception of dare), they do have an infinitive. English can/is able to shall/is to/must will/wants to may/must ought to dare(s) Norwegian Infinitive Present kunne kan skulle skal ville vil mtte m burde bor tore tr

Passive Verbs
When one uses a verb to describe an action one has accomplished, the verb is said to be "active." When a verb is used to describe something done to one or to something, the verb is said to be "passive." In Norwegian, the passive is created in one of two ways: 1 An s replaces the final r of the present tense or is added to the end of the past tense. 2 The copula bli + past participle also produces the passive voice. Active English Norwegian to treat behandle we treat we behandler I treated jeg behandlet Passive English Norwegian to be treated behandles/ bli behandlet we are treated vi behandles/vi blir behandlet I was treated jeg behandles/jeg blir behandlet

Verbs ending in -s
Some verbs can have a "sense of each other" when used with the pasive s: English they see each other often se you! (we will see each other) they meet (each other) the boys are fighting (each other) Norwegian de ses ofte vi ses! de mtes guttene slss

Some verbs can have a special meaning with the passive s: English there are it seems I think/I am of the opinion that Norwegian det finnes det synes jeg synes

Verbs Used in Other Ways

Just as in English, some Norwegian verbs can be used to create an adjective. This can be accomplished in one of two ways. The past participle is often used as an adjective: English a cleaned floor a newly built farm the painted wall all whitewashed houses Norwgian et renset gulv en nybygget grd en malt vegg alle hvitkalkete hus

In English, the -ing form of a verb is often used as an adjective or adverb. The Norwegian equivalent: is created by adding -nde to the infinitive or -ende if the infinitive ends with a stressed vowel: English a dying man a satisfying answer She is a rising (coming) star the existing rule on my writing days Is that a hardworking assistent? Norwegian en dende mann et tilfredsstillende svar Hun er en kommende stjerne den eksisterende regel p mine skrivende dager Er det en hardtarbeidende assistent?

Nouns & Articles Plural Nouns

Nouns & Articles

Norwegian nouns can be masculine (en ), feminine (ei/en ) or neuter (et ). The feminine ei is mostly used in dialects. Most beings and occupations use the en ( ei ) form. Aside from this one generality, there is no hard and fast rule by which one can determine the gender of a specific noun. In the infinitive (a) form, en/ei and et precede the noun (e.g. a dog = en hund, a cow = ei ku, a woman = en kvinne, a house = et hus). In the definitive (the) form, they are added to the end of the word (e.g. the dog = hunden, the cow = kua, the woman = kvinnen, the house = huset). Note that the feminine form can have either the a or (e)n ending. Norwegian "a" form "the" form en hund hunden en mann mannen ei jente jenta en kvinne kvinnen et tre treet et hus huset English dog man girl woman tree house

Masculine Feminine Neuter

If the noun ends with an unstressed e, the definitive form only adds the n or the t: Mas./Fem. Neuter en kvinne et teppe kvinnen teppet woman carpet

Nouns which end with a stressed e (those having only one syllable or an accent on the e to show stress) take the full ending: Mas./Fem. en skje en kaf skjeen kafen spoon caf

Plural Nouns
In both English and Norwegian, the plural is sometimes formed by simply changing the vowel of the stem (man/men = mann/menn). The majority of Norwegian nouns add er for the indefinitive plural, or, if they already end in a unstressed e, just r. In the definitive form, the ending is ne and ene is used, for example: Indefinitive Singular Plural a flower flowers en blomst blomster a teacher en lrer teachers lrere Definitive Plural these flowers blomstene these teachers lrerne

English Norwegian English Norwegian

Adjective Endings Comparison of Adjectives

Adjective Endings
In Norwegian, adjectives change with the gender of the noun as well as the definitive (the), indefinitive (a) and plural forms. The "basic" form of a Norwegian adjective is unchaged when used with masculine or feminine nouns or singular nouns in their indefinitive (a) form: English a sweet cake a good woman a large Welshman an amusing anecdote a red car Norwegian en st kake en god kvinne en stor waliser en morsom anekdote en rd bil

When adjectives are used to describe a singular neuter noun, they usually require the addition of a t: English a sweet smile a good heart a large meal an amusing fairy tale a red carpet Norwegian et stt smil et godt hjerte et stort mltid et morsomt eventyr et rdt teppe

In the indefinitive plural, most adjectives end with an e: English sweet things good deeds great events Norwegian ste saker gode gjerninger store begivenheter

When an adjective is placed before a noun in the definite (the) form, the definite ending is added to the noun and the adjective is preceded by the definite article den (for masculine/feminine singular), det (for neuter singular) or de (for plural). The ending of the adjective, however, is the same for all three:' English the sweet pain the large meal the lovely experiences Norwegian den ste smerten det store mltidet de deilige opplevelsene

Comparision of Adjectives
Comparative adjectives in Norwegian is somewhat similiar to English: short/shorter/shortest = kort/kortere/kortest. The comparative English ending er becomes ere in Norwegian and the English superlative est is also est in Norwegian. The superlative form adds an e in the indefinitive plural and in all definitive forms (den steste sangen/de steste sangene = the sweetest song/the sweetest songs'). English soft expensive rich wise high low wide blt dyr rik klok hy lav bred Norwegian Comparative Superlative bltere bltest dyrere dyrest rikere rikest klokere klokest hyere hyest lavere lavest bredere bredest

Adjectives ending in ig or som add only st in the superlative: English lovely cheap poor happy slow deilig billig fattig lykkelig langsom Norwegian Comparative deiligere billigere fattigere lykkeligere langsommere

Superlative deiligst billigst fattigst lykkeligst langsomst

If an adjective ends with el , en or er , the e is normmally dropped before adding the ere or est endings. In double consonant words, one consonant is dropped in the process: English noble lazy cheerful delicious edel doven munter lekker Norwegian Comparative edlere dovnere muntrere lekrere

Superlative edlest dovnest muntrest lekrest

Common Adverbs Adverbs of Place & Movement

Common Adverbs
Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs to which they are added. In Norwegian, adjectives in the neuter form are often used as adverbs (e.g. godt = well; langt = far). Sometimes adjectives remain unchanged when used as adverb (e.g. lett = lightly). Some common adverbs: English never/all the same anyway always only then/besides furthermore unfortunately yet/however otherwise still/yet too quite/rather willingly fortunately not especially far (for a) long (time) perhaps perhaps of course now almost often also of course sometimes immediately then occasionally Norwegian aldri allikevel alltid bare/kun da dessuten desverre dog ellers endnu for ganske gjerne heldigvis ikke isr langt lenge muligens kanskje naturligvis n nesten ofte ogs selvflgelig noen ganger straks s av og til

Adverbs of Place & Movement

English went away was away/gone went/walked home stayed at home walk forward we have got there come in! we are locked in out you go we are out up(wards) Movement gikk bort ---gikk hjem ---g frem ---kom inn! ---ut med deg opp Norwegian Place ---var borte ---ble hjemme ---vi er fremme ---vi er lukket inne ---vi er ute oppe

Subject Pronouns Object Pronouns Relative Pronouns

Subject Pronouns
English I you he she it we you they Norwegian jeg du ha hun den vi dere de

Object Pronouns
English me you (familiar sing.) you (polite sing.) him her it us you (familiar pl.) you (polite pl.) them Norwegian meg deg Dem han/ham henne den/det oss dere Dem dem

Relative Pronouns
The single Norwegian word som can be used for the English who, that and which.

English along of behind among after for before past before from/off through with/at along with among/between towards/against near about/on around over/above opposite on to without Norwegian bortover av bak blant etter for foran forbi fr fra gjennom hos langs (med) med mellom mot nr om omkring over overfor p til uten

English and or but plus as well as for/because so Norwegian og eller men samt s vel som for s

Time & Numbers

Days & Months Hours of the Day Numbers

Days & Months

English Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Norwegian mandag tirsdag onsdag torsdag fredag lrdag sndag

English January February March April May June July English August September October November December Norwegian januar februar mars april mai juni juli Norwegian august september oktober november desember

Hours of the Day

The 24-hour clock is used in Norway. The English a.m. or p.m. designations are not known. Time 6-9 9-12 (15) 12 (15)-18 18-24 24-6 Norwegian morgen formiddag ettermiddag kveld natt

Number 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 101 113 231 8,010 100,000 2,000,000 Norwegian null en/ett to tre fire fem seks syv tte ni ti elleve tolv tretten fjorten femten seksten atten nitten tjue tjueen tjueto tretti frti femti seksti sytti tti nitti hundre hundreogen hundreogtretten tohundreogtrettien ttetusenogti (ett)hundretusen to millioner

Sentence Structure
Norwegian word order is often the same as English but there are some very important differences. In Norwegian sentences, the verb changes place if the sentence starts with an adverb or a subordinate clause precedes the the main clause: English I am buying a car today Today I am buying a car I take the car if it rains If it rains, I take the car Norwegian Jeg kjper en bil i dag I dag kjper jeg en bil Jeg tar bilen hvis det regner Hvis det regner, tar jeg bilen

The Date
In Norwegian, the date is written with the date preceding the month, for example: 8. mai (May 8) or 25. desember (December 25).

Letter Opening
In Norwegian there is no equivalent to the English opening: "Dear Sir(s)." When writing to a company, for example, one should proceed straight into the text unless the addressee is known by their title and name.

Letter Closings
Business Friends English Yours faithfully Yours sincerely Kind regards devoted Norwegian Vennlig hilsen Med vennlig hilsen Vennlig hilsen Mange venlige hils(e)ner or Deres/din hengivne