Quick grammar question

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Quick grammar question

Postby matthund » 2014-02-21, 21:34

Hi. My name is Matt J and I am somewhat okay at speaking Faroese, which I have been studying by myself for about a year now. I have some questions about the grammar.

Hey, eg eiti Matteus og eg dugi (kanska) gott føroyskt, sum eg havi verið lærandi sjálvur fyri eitt ár nú. Eg havi spurninga um mállæruna.

Right now, my question is:
When I want to say I shall/should do something, what is the best way? When I say "at skula," which form of the verb do I use?

For example, do I say: "eg skal fara", "eg skal farið", "eg skal farin", or "eg skal farandi". I don't think the last one is right, but this has been confusing me for a while and I can't find a website to explain it to me.

Túsund takk.

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Re: Quick grammar question

Postby September » 2014-02-22, 1:24

Hi, Matt! You would use the bare infinitive (the infinitive without "at"), so you'd say "Eg skal fara". I don't have a specific source on that, but I've seen it repeatedly, and I've definitely never seen anything like "skal farandi".

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Re: Quick grammar question

Postby Mulder-21 » 2014-04-15, 20:46

At fara is kind of a special case, since it in itself usually conveys the future tense.

Eg fari at skriva eina bók. = I'm going to write a book.

The -andi is the present participle and while it might look like the English gerund, it's not used that way in Faroese. Instead, it's most commonly used as an adjectivial deverbative (an adjective derived from a verb), so while

Eg eri etandi.

might look like it means "I am eating", it actually means "I am edible".

Instead Faroese prefers simple present tense.

Eg eti.

thus means both "I'm eating" and "I eat". Thus the continual and habitual meanings are expressed the same way. You can express habit by adding extra words, like: "Eg eti dagliga." (I eat daily.) etc.

This neatly leads me to your first sentence, but first: kudos! amazing that you've reached this level after only a year. Some things need ironing out though, but my god. :)

matthund wrote:sum eg havi verið lærandi sjálvur fyri eitt ár nú

This is what I've been writing about. A more proper way to say this in Faroese is:

... sum eg nú havi lært meg sjálvan í eitt ár ...
... sum eg nú havi lært sjálvur í eitt ár ...

Theoretically, the reflexive forms mean 'learn' and the basic forms 'teach', however, this distinction is lost to most Faroese speakers, so you just have to guess by context what they mean.

Unlike Icelandic and Old Norse, masculine nouns in plural in Faroese do not distinguish accusative from nominative, thus in plural it's spurningar - spurningar - spurningum - [spurninga] in Faroese. :)

To your question:

If you need to use 'skula' then 'eg skal fara' is the only correct option (unless you are writing some hypothetical sentence that is). So bare infinitive.

I shall do this. = Eg skal gera hetta.
I should have done this, if ... = Eg hevði skulað gjørt hetta, um ... (since this is a theoretical sentence, you add an aux verb and put the main verb in the past participle)
Gløgt er gestsins eyga. (Føroyskt orðafelli)
Wise is the stranger's eye. (Faroese saying)
L'occhio dell'ospite è acuto. (Proverbio faroico)
Hosťovo oko je múdre. (Faerské uslovie)

Fluent: Faroese, Danish, English, German
Almost fluent: Norwegian, Swedish
Basic: Slovak (studying), Spanish
Have studied: Hebrew, Russian
Interests: Ukrainian, Romanian, Italian, Albanian, Armenian, Ossetic, Hungarian, Estonian, Baltic languages

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