Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsHi everybody and welcome to this first of several presentations about grammar. Here we will look at the basics of sentence structure. Main clauses. A main clause, also called independent clause, is a well formed sentence that can stand alone and bear meaning, containing a subject and a predicate with a finite verb, that is a

Skip to 0 minutes and 29 secondsverb that you can conjugate in: persons ( like in I do, you do, he does, they do, etc)  and tenses (like in the present I do and in the past, etc) The subject is the person or thing carrying out the action in the sentence. My name is Alex. I lived in Norway for 3 years. They will move to Norway in January. A Norwegian sentence must always have a verb and a subject. The verb always takes the second place in a main clause.

Skip to 1 minute and 21 secondsThe normal word order in a main clause in Norwegian will therfore be: Subject – Verb – Rest of the sentence Jeg heter Alex. I am called Alex. Jeg kommer fra Frankrike. I come from France. Main clause with inverted verb-subject As mentioned before, the verb is always the second element in a main clause.

Skip to 1 minute and 58 secondsWhen it starts normally with the subject as in: Jeg bor i Oslo I live in Oslo But also when the sentence starts for instance

Skip to 2 minutes and 10 secondswith adverbs, or words for time and/or place as in: Nå reiser Alex til Oslo Now, Alex travels to Oslo Reiser du til Oslo i dag? Are you travelling to Oslo today? Nei, Til Oslo reiser jeg i morgen No, I travel to Oslo tomorrow In this case the subject is positioned after the verb, which still takes the second place in the clause. We call this fenomenon inversion because the normal order subject-verb is in these sentences inverted to verb-subject Question words The most common question words are hva what hvem who hvor where (how + adjective) hvordan …Take a look at the sentences how  Hva heter du? What is your name? Hvem er det? Who is it? Hvor bor du? Hvor gammel er du?

Skip to 3 minutes and 23 secondsWhere do you live? How old are you? Hvordan går det?  How are you? Questions

Skip to 3 minutes and 39 secondsIn questions with question words the verb is also the second element: Hva heter du? What is your name?

Skip to 3 minutes and 49 secondsIn questions without a question word the sentence starts with the verb as it does in English: Er du norsk? Are you Norwegian? Negation and other adverbs in main clauses In a narrative clause the negation ikke (which means not), which is an adverb, usually comes

Skip to 4 minutes and 15 secondsafter the verb: Jeg reiser ikke til Paris. I don't travel to Paris.

Skip to 4 minutes and 23 secondsOther adverbs like også (which means also or too) come after the verb as well: Jeg reiser også til Oslo. I also travel to Oslo. Negation in questions When the negation ”ikke” is in a question without question words, it is positioned after the inverted subject as in Bor du ikke i Oslo? Don’t you live in Oslo? Snakker du ikke norsk? Don’t you speak Norwegian? When the negation is in a question with question words, it is positioned either right after the verb as in Hvem reiser ikke til Oslo?       Who’s not travelling to Oslo?     or right after the inverted subject Hvorfor reiser du ikke til Oslo?  Why are you not travelling  to Oslo? Throughout this course we will have several grammar presentations.

Skip to 5 minutes and 35 secondsYou can watch them as many times as you want, and I've encourage you to use them actively when solving the grammar exercises.

Word order: Main clauses, questions and negation

How do you construct sentences in Norwegian?

Take a look at the video and try it yourself.


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This video is from the free online course:

Norwegian for Beginners 1

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)