Grammar doubt

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Monstrodolago
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Grammar doubt

Postby Monstrodolago » 2018-06-21, 19:38

Halo, jeg heter Monstrodolago, hyggelig a mote deg!
I am currently learning Norwegian, but I have a doubt on grammar, which I hope to be clarified, please. For example, in the sentence "Barnet spiser et eple", there is the et termination on Barnet. Then, we can use, for the same sentence, the words "Mannen" or "Elefanter", both with two different terminations, "en" and "er". My question is: what those terminations mean and when should we use them correctly?
Thanks!

h34
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Re: Grammar doubt

Postby h34 » 2018-06-21, 20:53

-en, -a, -et and -ene mark definiteness, just like 'the' in English.

-er is a plural marker, but there are some exceptions. If the plural is definite, it is more regular: just add -ene.

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Basically, these are the most important endings:

-en = masculine gender, definite singular
-a = feminine gender, definite singular
-et = neuter gender, definite singular
-ene = all genders, definite plural

Some examples:

mann (man)
-> mannen (the man)
elefant (elephant)
-> elefanten (the elephant)
kvinne (woman)
-> kvinna (the woman)
eple (apple)
-> eplet (the apple)
barn (child)
-> barnet (the child)

menn* (men)
-> mennene (the men)
elefanter (elephants)
-> elefantene (the elephants)
kvinner (women)
-> kvinnene (the women)
epler (apples)
-> eplene (the apples)
barn** (children)
-> barnene (the children)

* mann doesn't add -er but has an irregular plural (just like English): -a- turns to -e-

** barn has the same form in the indefinite singular and plural.

---
Sometimes -ene can be replaced with -a (barnene > barna, eplene > epla) but I think the regular -ene ending can always be used. Perhaps a native or fluent speaker can add more information.
Thanks for any corrections

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Johanna
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Re: Grammar doubt

Postby Johanna » 2018-06-23, 0:17

This is how nouns are declined in Bokmål.

Masculine

masculine.jpg



Feminine

feminine.jpg



Neuter

neuter.jpg


Whether a neuter noun gets -a or -ene in indefinite plural depends on your personal preference, the important thing is to choose one variant and stick with it, and the same goes for the other instances where there's more than one form to choose from.
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Swedish (sv) native; English (en) good; Norwegian (no) read fluently, understand well, speak badly; Danish (dk) read fluently, understand badly, can't speak; Faroese (fo) read some, understand a bit, speak a few sentences; German (de) French (fr) Spanish (es) forgetting; heritage language, want to understand and speak but can't.

Monstrodolago
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Re: Grammar doubt

Postby Monstrodolago » 2018-06-25, 21:09

Thank you both very much! I have another doubt, about verbs, I've been following this list: http://www.lindaunwin.com/verbs.htm

The UV group verbs have a Preteritum that seems farily irregular and variable, that's why I don't know which verb terminations should I stick with in order to conjugate verbs. How is this supposed to be?

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Re: Grammar doubt

Postby Johanna » 2018-06-26, 3:02

Germanic languages* divide their verbs into two main groups, weak and strong.

Weak verbs aren't very weird, they work pretty much like regular verbs in Romance languages, where you add different suffixes to the stem depending on the tense and person. Or well, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish don't conjugate verbs for person, but all others do as far as I know. Bokmål is simpler than all the other North-Germanic standards since it doesn't divide its weak verbs further into sub groups and instead the preterite and perfect/pluperfect form is decided purely by what sound the stem ends in.

Of course, this being Norwegian there is some flexibility and the exact pattern may shift a bit depending on what register you use, but it's no different than being able to chose the number of genders or the definite plural forms for neuter nouns.

Strong verbs are a little different, they use suffixes too but not the exact same ones as the weak ones, and they combine them with something called ablaut, that is that the vowel in the stem changes according to rules that go all the way back to Proto Indo European. Since the modern Germanic languages don't look much like their distant ancestor, you pretty much have to memorize those vowel changes for each verb by heart. Still, since they do follow some sort of pattern, it's not as difficult as if it had all been completely random and you usually develop a feel for it sooner or later :)

--------------------

* English does and doesn't, usually students of that language learn its strong verb as simply irregular and they're lumped together with the irregular weak ones. But in all other Germanic languages it's much more productive to separate the strong verbs from the truly irregular ones.
Swedish (sv) native; English (en) good; Norwegian (no) read fluently, understand well, speak badly; Danish (dk) read fluently, understand badly, can't speak; Faroese (fo) read some, understand a bit, speak a few sentences; German (de) French (fr) Spanish (es) forgetting; heritage language, want to understand and speak but can't.

Monstrodolago
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Re: Grammar doubt

Postby Monstrodolago » 2018-07-02, 22:00

Great, thanks!, I'm getting used to the verb's patterns. But on the same list, there is the verb "a skulle", which means "shall; have to", I'm not really sure when I should use it, maybe could someone apply it in a sentence with a certain meaning? Thanks!


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