Grammar Chapter 5

VERBS

Past tense (preterite)

We use past tense when we want to describe something that has already happened at a certain time in the past (e.g. i går - yesterday):

Ken kjøpte ei jakke i går.

A. The regular verbs are divided into four groups:
Group 1: The verbs add the ending -et.
In this group you will find many verbs with two consonants in front of the infinitive -e and some verbs with t, g, and d:

Infinitive: å snakke speak/talk å vaske wash å lage make
Past tense:  snakket vasket laget

Group 2: The verbs add the ending -te.
Many verbs with one consonant and some with a double consonant belong in this group:

Infinitive: å kjøpe buy å spise eat å begynne begin
Past tense:  kjøpte spiste begynte

Group 3: The verbs add the ending -de.
Some verbs with v and ei belong in this group:

Infinitive: å prøve try å greie manage å leie rent
Past tense:  prøvde greide leide

Group 4: The verbs add the ending -dde.
Many verbs ending in another vowel than -e belong in group 4:

Infinitive: å bety mean å bo live å nå reach
Past tense:  betydde bodde nådde

B. The irregular verbs have other forms. In most cases they change vowel in the past tense:

Infinitive: å dra go/travel å drikke drink å finne find
Past tense: dro drakk fant
Some other irregular verbs in chapter 5:
Infinitive   Past tense
å bli become ble
å fortelle  tell fortalte
å gå walk gikk
å hjelpe help hjalp
å møte meet møtte
å si say sa
å sitte sit satt
å spørre ask spurte
å stå stand sto(d)
å ta take tok
å treffe meet traff
å ville want/wish ville
å være be var

More irregular verbs: See Chapter 6.

ADJECTIVES

Other patterns

Adjectives ending in -el and -en, like gammel (old) and sulten (hungry) do not follow the main pattern for adjectives. One -e disappears when adding the plural -e. In addition, adjectives with a double consonant drop one consonant in the plural form:

Attributive form

Singular     Plural
Masc. Fem. Neut.  
en gammel bil 
an old car
ei gammel veske
an old handbag
et gammelt bord
an old table
gamle biler/vesker/bord
old cars/handbags/tables
en sulten gutt
a hungry boy
ei sulten jente
a hungry girl
et sultent barn
a hungry child
sultne gutter/jenter/barn
hungry boys/girls/children

Predicative form

Singular     Plural
Masc. Fem. Neut.  
Bilen er gammel
The car is
old
Veska er gammel
The handbag is
old
Bordet er gammelt
The table is
old
Bilene/veskene/bordene er gamle
The cars/handbags/tables are
old
Gutten er sulten 
The boy is hungry
Jenta er sulten
The girl is hungry
Barnet er sultent
The child is hungry
Guttene/jentene/barna er sultne
The boys/girls/children are hungry

Adjectives in combination with the verb to look

The expression to look + adjective (He looks old) is in Norwegian constructed by the verb å se + adjective + (the adverb) ut.
The adjectives follow the pattern described under Predicative form in Chapter 3, 4 and 5. Below this is demonstrated with the adjectives fin (here: nice) and ny (new).

Singular     Plural
Masc. Fem. Neut.  
Bilen ser fin ut
The car looks nice
Boka ser fin ut
The book looks nice
Huset ser fint ut
The house looks nice
Bilene ser fine ut
The cars look nice
Bilen ser ny ut
The car looks new
Boka ser ny ut
The book looks new
Huset ser nytt ut
The house looks new
Bilene ser nye ut
The cars look new

SOME CENTRAL TIME EXPRESSIONS

Past Present Future
i går yesterday i dag today i morgen tomorrow
(i) forrige uke last week now neste uke next week
i fjor last year   om in
for – siden ago    
Ken kom til Trondheim for to måneder siden.
bor han på Moholt.
Om to dager skal han reise til Oslo.

WORDS FOR QUANTITIES

Mange (many) and noen (some) are used together with countable nouns:

Ken kjøpte mange CDer.
Peter og Frank snakket med noen studenter.

Mye (much/a lot of) is used together with uncountable (mass) nouns:

Peter drikker mye kaffe.