12 Grammar

12 Grammar


VERBS

S-verbs

Some verbs end in –s in all forms. Here are some of the most common ones:

Infinitive  Present tense  Preterite  Present perfect 
å synes  to think  synes  syntes  har syntes 
å trives  to like a situation  trives  trivdes  har trivdes 
å finnes  to exist  finnes  fantes  har funnes 
å møtes  to meet each other  møtes  møttes  har møttes 
å ses  to see each other  ses  såes  har settes 


Examples:

Ben trives i Fjordvik.  Ben likes living in Fjordvik.  
Han syntes lutefisk var rart.  He thought «lutefisk» was strange.  
Nina og Cecilie møttes i Oslo.  Nina and Cecilie met in Oslo.  
Vi ses i morgen!  See you tomorrow!  

WORD ORDER

Main clause

A main clause is an independent sentence. It contains a subject (the person or thing that carries out the action) and a verb.

Often there are other grammatical units in the sentence, such as objects and adverbs.

In a narrative clause the finite verb (= verb in present or past tense) is the second element.

Different elements can be placed in the front such as the subject (sentence 1), adverbs indicating time or place (sentence 2), question words (sentence 3) and other elements.

In sentences like 2 and 3, the subject has to move to its assigned place after the verb.

In questions without a question word (hva (what), hvem (who) etc.) the sentence starts with the verb (sentence 4).

Adverbs like ikke are normally placed after the finite verb.

Front  Verb  Subject   Adverb  Verb  Object  Adverb 
1. Han  vil   -  ikke  spise  kake  i kantina i dag. 
2. I dag  vil  han  ikke  spise  kake  i kantina. 
3. Hvorfor  vil  han  ikke   spise  kake  i kantina i dag? 
4.  Vil  han  ikke   spise  kake  i kantina i dag? 
1. He does not want to eat cake in the canteen today.
2. Today, he does not want to eat cake in the canteen.
3. Why doesn't he want to eat cake in the canteen today?
4. Doesn't he want to eat cake in the canteen today?
 


Note that the subject is placed after ikke in inverted sentences when it is a noun (here: Ben).

Front  Verb  Adverb  Subject  Verb  Object  Adverb 
I dag  vil  ikke  Ben  spise  kake  i kantina. 
Today, Ben does not want to eat cake in the canteen. 


Subordinate clause

A subordinate clause also contains a subject and a verb, but it is not an independent sentence. It goes together with a main clause.

A subordinate clause normally starts with a subordinating conjunction. Some frequent subordinating conjunctions are: fordi (because), at (that), hvis (if), om (if – together with the verb å spørre (to ask)), da (when), når (when).

In subordinate clauses the word order is fixed. The subordinating conjunction is followed by the subject of the sentence. Other elements can't be moved to the front field.

Adverbs like ikke are placed in front of the verb:

  Conj.  Front
(subj.)
 
Adverb  Verb  Object  Adverb 
1. Alex er litt trøtt  fordi  han  ikke  har sovet    mye i natt. 
2. Bildene blir uskarpe  når  Alex    hopper    i snøen. 
3. Snøballen er så stor  at  Dina    må hjelpe  ham.   
4. Alex spør  om  han  ikke  kan åpne  gavene  nå. 
1. Alex is a little tired because he didn't sleep much last night.
2. The pictures get blurred when Alex jumps in the snow.
3. The snowball is so big that Dina has to help him.
4. Alex asks if he can open the presents now.
 


The subordinate clause may also be placed in the front of the main clause. As for main clauses, the subject then moves to its assigned place after the verb:

Front  Verb  Subject   
1. Når Alex hopper i snøen,  blir  bildene  uskarpe. 
2. Fordi han ikke har sovet mye i natt,  er  Alex  trøtt. 
1. When Alex jumps in the snow, the pictures get blurred.
2. Because he didn't sleep much last night, Alex is tired.
 

COMMA RULES

1) We always use a comma in front of men (but):

Anne bor i Fjordvik, men hun kommer fra Lillestrøm.
Anne lives in Fjordvik, but she comes from Lillestrøm. 


2) We use a comma in front of the conjunctions og (and), for (because) and (so) when the following sentence is a complete main clause:

Hans har bodd i Fjordvik i ti år, og han jobber i en bank.
Hans has lived in Fjordvik for ten years, and he works in a bank.  
but: 
Hans har bodd i Fjordvik i ti år og jobber i en bank.
Hans has lived in Fjordvik for ten years and works in a bank.  


3) We use a comma before and after a parenthetical clause:

Ben, som kommer fra Frankrike, bor i Fjordvik.
Ben, who comes from France, lives in Fjordvik.  


4) We always use commas by enumeration:

Han spiser vanligvis kylling, laks, pasta, ris og grønnsaker til middag.
He usually has chicken, salmon, pasta, rice and vegetables for dinner.


5) We use a comma after the subordinate clause when it is placed in front of the main clause:

Hvis Eva hjelper henne, blir Tone glad.
If Eva helps her, Tone will be happy.  


6) We use a comma after direct speech:

«Vil du ha hjelp?» spør Eva.
«Would you like some help?» Eva asks.