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Alarics magic sheet

everything you need to know about Old Norse grammar, on one side of A4!
nouns (most common in bold, with examples with the definite article)
strong weak
masculine neuter feminine masc. neuter fem.
a-plural i-plural u-plural r-plural ar-plural ir-plural r-plural
N. sg. fiskr(-inn) star skjldr ftr land(-it) k!i gjf(-in) t" #k bogi hjarta saga
$. fisk(-inn) sta skjld ft land(-it) k!i gjf(-ina) t" #k boga hjarta sgu
%. fisks(-ins) staar skjaldar ftar lands(-ins) k!is gjafar(-
t"ar #kar boga hjarta sgu
&. fiski(-num) sta skildi f'ti landi(-nu) k!i gjf(-inni) t" #k boga hjarta sgu
N. pl. fiskar(-nir) stair skildir f'tr lnd(-in) k!i gjafar(-nar) t"ir #'kr bogar hjrtu sgur
$. fiska(-na) stai skjldu f'tr lnd(-in) k!i gjafar(-nar) t"ir #'kr boga hjrtu sgur
%. fiska(-nna) staa skjalda fta landa(-
k!a gjafa(-nna) t"a #ka boga hjartna sagna
&. fiskum
stum skjldum ftum lndum
k!um gjfum
t"um #kum bogu
hjrtum sgum
strong weak possessie adjectie
(example, strong onl()
masc. neuter fem. masc. neuter fem. masc. neuter fem.
N. sg. langr langt lng langi langa langa minn mitt m"n
$. langan langt langa langa langa lngu minn mitt m"na
%. langs langs langrar langa langa lngu m"ns m"ns minnar
&. lngum lngu langri langa langa lngu m"num m"nu minni
N. pl. langir lng langar lngu lngu lngu m"nir m"n m"nar
$. langa lng langar lngu lngu lngu m"na m"n m"nar
%. langra langra langra lngu lngu lngu minna minna minna
&. lngum lngum lngum lngum lngum lngum m"num m"num m"num
strong weak to #e
infinitie -a grafa )dig* -a telja )count* vera
imperatie - graf )dig+* - tel )count+* ver
pres. part. -andi grafandi )digging* -andi teljandi )counting* verandi
past part. -it grafit )dug* -it telit )counted* verit
indicatie su#junctie indicatie (classes ,-.-/) su#junctie indic. su#j.
sg. - gref -a grafa -/-a/-i tel -a telja em s0
-r grefr -ir grafir -r/-ar/-ir telr -ir telir ert s0r
-r grefr -i grafi -r/-ar/-ir telr -i teli er s0
pl. -um grfum -im grafim -um teljum -im telim erum s0m
-i grafi -i grafi -i teli -i teli eru s0
-a grafa -i grafi -a telja -i teli eru s0
sg. - grf -a gr'fa -a/-da/-ta tala -a--da--ta tela var !ra
-t grft -ir gr'fir -ir/-dir/-tir talir -ir--dir--tir telir vart !rir
- grf -i gr'fi -i/-di/-ti tali -i--di--ti teli var !ri
pl. -um grfum -im gr'fim -um/-dum/-tum tlum -im--dim--tim telim vrum !rim
-u grfu -i gr'fi -u/-du/-tu tlu -i--di--ti teli vru !ri
-u grfu -i gr'fi -u/-du/-tu tlu -i--di--ti teli vru !ri
glossary to nouns and adjectives1 fiskr )fish*2 star )place*2 skjldr )shield*2 ftr )foot, leg*2 land )land*2 kvi
)poem*2 gjf )gift*2 t! )time*2 bk )#ook*2 bogi )#ow*2 hjarta )heart*2 saga )stor(, histor(*2 langr )long*2 minn )m(, mine*
u-mutation: a when followed #( u
#ecomes (when stressed) or u
(when unstressed). 3hus saga )saga*,
#ut sgur )sagas*2 gamall )old
(masculine nominatie singular)*, #ut
gmul )old (feminine nominatie
singular)*. 4ometimes the u has #een
lost, #ut its effects remain, as in land
)land*, #ut lnd )lands* (5 6landu).
i-mutation: when followed #( an i
or j, usuall( now lost, owels
changed thus1 a 7 e2 " 7 2 e 7 i2 o
7 e (occasionall( #, y)2 7 $2 u 7 y2
% 7 &2 au 7 ey.
classes of strong verbs: main
infinitie, /
sg. present, /
sg. past,
pl. past, past participle
8. #"ta (#ite), #"tr, #eit, #itu, #itit
88. #ja (offer), #9r, #au, #uu,
888. #resta (#urst, #reak), #restr,
#rast, #rustu, #rostit
8:. #era (#ear), #ar, #;ru, #orit
:. gefa (gie), gefr, gaf, g;fu, gefit
:8. fara (go, trael), ferr, fr, fru,
:88. heita (to #e called2 command),
heitr, h0t, h0tu, heitit
personal pronouns
sg. dual pl. third person
masc. neuter fem.
,st ek it 0r
mik okkr oss
m"n okkar ;r
m0r okkr oss
sg hann <at hon
hann <at hana
hans <ess hennar
honum <" henni
.nd <= (<)it (<)0r
<ik (kkr (r
<"n (kkar (ar
<0r (kkr (r
pl <eir <au <!r
<; <au <!r
<eir(r)a <eir(r)a <eir(r)a
<eim <eim <eim
demonstrative pronouns
it-that-those this-these
masc. neuter fem. masc. neuter fem.
N sg. s; <at s= sj;, <essi <etta sj;
$ <ann <at <; <enna <etta <essa
% <ess <ess <eir(r)ar <essa <essa <essar
& <eim <" <eir(r)i <essum <essu <essi
N pl. <eir <au <!r <essir <essi <essar
$ <; <au <!r <essa <essi <essar
% <eir(r)a <eir(r)a <eir(r)a <essa <essa <essa
& <eim <eim <eim <essum <essum <essum
!tra help for nglish-speakers
"hat is case# >ases are the different forms that nouns, pronouns and adjecties take in some languages when their grammatical function
changes. 8n ?nglish, nouns don*t reall( hae cases@#ut pronouns do. 3ake an ?nglish sentence, su#stitute the third person masculine pronoun for
a noun phrase, and (ou*ll find (ourself automaticall( changing the case of the pronoun, depending on whether it*s a su#ject, o#ject or possessie+
case and number $
function modern nglish e!amples &ld 'orse e!amples
nominatie singular 8 he the su#ject
(the thing that does the er#)
( ate a fish.
)lfr ate a fish.
)lfr and the dog ate a fish.
k ;t fisk.
)lfr ;t fisk.
)lfr ok hundrinn ;tu fisk.
accusatie singular me him the o#ject
(the thing the er# is done to)
3he fish ate me.
Al;fr ate a fish.
Al;fr ate a fish and the dog.
Biskrinn ;t mik.
Al;fr ;t fisk.
Al;fr ;t fisk ok hundinn.
genitie singular m( his a noun-pronoun in the
genitie possesses another
*is sword was #lack.
Ce ate the dogs fish.
3he histor( of the dog was long.
*ans ser ar sart.
Cann ;t fisk hundsins.
4aga hundsins ar lng.
datie singular (to, from,
with, #(,
etc.) me
(to, from,
with, #(,
etc.) him
arious things, principall(1
indirect o#jects, words after a
preposition, words taking the
role of a preposition.
8 gae him a name.
Ce was on the land.
'on er (k gulli )she is
thatched +ith gold*
?k gaf nafn honum.
Cann ar ; landinu,
Con er <k gulli.
nominatie plural we the( the su#ject
(the thing that does the er#)
-hey ate Al;fr.
.iants eat people.
/eir ;tu Al;f.
0tnar 0ta menn.
accusatie plural us them the o#ject
(the thing the er# is done to)
3he :ikings wounded them.
3he dog ate giants.
:"kingarnir s!ru 1.
Cundrinn ;t jtna.
genitie plural
2almost al+ays ends
in -a in &ld 'orse34
our their a noun-pronoun in the
genitie possesses another
&ur dogs ate their fish.
8 #roke 5ikings #ones.
3he #ones of the 5ikings #roke.
5rir hundar ;tu 1eirra fisk.
?k #raut v6kinga #ein.
Dein v6kinga #rutu.
datie plural
2almost al+ays ends
in -um in &ld 'orse34
(to, from,
with, #(,
etc.) us
(to, from,
with, #(,
etc.) them
arious things, principall(1
indirect o#jects, words after a
preposition, words taking the
role of a preposition.
Ce gae them names.
Ce lied with giants.
)eyru (eir s*orum )the( droe
+ith their spurs*.
Cann gaf nfn 1eim.
Cann #j me jtnum.
Ee(ru <eir sporum.
"hat do the terms in the verbs bo! mean#
Strong verbs indicate tense #( changing their
root-owel, while weak verbs indicate tense #(
adding an ending. 4trong er#s in ?nglish
include + ride, + rode, + have ridden2 weak er#s
include + ,ount, + ,ounted, + have ,ounted.
4trong and weak er#s hae no connection with
strong and weak nouns+
Fnlike normal er#s, the infinitive doesn*t
change its form according to person or tense1 in
+ want to run, he wants to run, + wanted to run,
the main er# want changes, #ut the infinitie
run sta(s the same. $s in that sentence,
infinities alwa(s depend on other er#s.
Imperatives are commands like get out! kill
the viking bastards! etc.
Participles are er#s that hae #een turned
into adjecties, and hae different forms
depending on whether the( refer to the
present or the past@as in the breaking bridge
(cf. the bridge breaks, present), the broken
bridge (cf. the bridge broke, past). Gast
participles turn up a lot, in ?nglish and Hld
Norse, with the er# to have-hafa, in
constructions like ek hef brostit br%na )8 hae
#roken the #ridge*, (eir hafa telit fiskana )the(
hae counted the fish*.
8n Hld Norse, indicative er#s are #asicall(
ordinar( er#s, used when what (ou sa( is a
simple statement of the truth. Subjunctives
are used in uncertain or h(pothetical situations,
in phrases like )if 8 were rich, 8 would #u( $laric
presents*, )ma( (ou shriel and die*, )8 would do
that if 8 could*.
*o+ should ( put sentences together# 3here are #asicall(
two strategies for translating Hld Norse into ?nglish1
,. 3ranslate each word as it comes without worr(ing a#out its
grammatical function, and, if necessar(, shuffle them a#out
afterwards until the( seem to make sense. Iuch of the time
this will produce a correct translation, #ecause the word-order
of Hld Norse and ?nglish is similar.
.. Jork out the grammatical function of each word and #uild
the translation up from there.
Doth methods hae their place, #ut the second is much more
. /isk "t 0l"fr looks at first sight like it should mean )a fish ate
Al;fr*. Dut fisk is accusatie and 0l"fr is nominatie, so it must
actuall( mean )Al;fr ate a fish*.
6 'ann dr"*u d&r looks like it should mean )he killed an animal-
animals*. 'ann could #e a nominatie singular, and d&r (a
strong neuter noun) could #e an accusatie (singular or
plural), so this looks plausi#le. Dut the er# riu is plural. 'ann
can #e an accusatie singular #ut not a nominatie plural1 the
onl( word which can #e a nominatie plural is d&r. 4o the
sentence must mean )animals killed him*.
. 1angan hundr "t fisk looks like it should mean )a long dog ate
a fish*. Dut langan is accusatie, so it must agree with fisk
(accusatie), not hundr (nominatie). 4o the sentence means
)a dog ate a long fish*.
Jhen reading grammaticall(, tr( following this checklist. 8t looks
complicated, #ut soon #ecomes automatic1
,. Bind the main er# (i.e. a er# which is not an infinitie). 8s it
singular or pluralK
,a. 8f the er# is first or second person, (ou automaticall( know that
the su#ject must #e )8-we* or )(ou* respectiel(. Donus+
.. Bind a noun or pronoun, of the same num#er as the er#,
which could #e a nominatie. Copefull( there*s onl( one+ 3his
is the su#ject.
.a. 3wo singular su#jects reLuire a plural er#1 0l"fr ok 2gill tlu
gjafar )Al;fr and ?gill counted gifts*.
.#. 8f (ou can*t find a nominatie noun or pronoun, look for a
nominatie adjectie1 these can stand in for nouns, as in 3he si,k
should be sent home.
.c. 8f there isn*t a su#ject at all, add in a pronoun corresponding in
num#er and person to the er#. 3hus tlum gjafar means )+e
counted gifts*2 (tti m4r undarligt means )it seemed strange to me*.
/. 8f the sense of the er# allows it to hae an o#ject (e.g. )8 killed
him*2 contrast with )8 died*), look for nouns and pronouns in the
/a. 4ome eil er#s turn their o#jects into genities or daties. 8f so, the
glossar(-dictionar( will tell (ou, and (ou should look for one of these
instead of an accusatie.
M. 8f there are an( adjecties around, match them up with nouns
or pronouns of the same num#er, gender and case.
N. Oou*e now got the core of the sentence in place. 4lotting in
prepositions, indirect o#jects, and ader#s ought now to #e
prett( intuitie (hopefull(+).