Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £29.99 £19.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Past tense – Presens Perfektum

Basic grammar - Past tense
What is Presens Perfektum? If you remember, we mentioned that we have two past tenses in Norwegian. Last week we learnt the Preteritum. The Presens Perfektum is the second past tense which we are going to learn this week. Enjoy the presentation! So, what is Presens perfektum? It is similar to the Present perfect in English It is formed with the auxiliary verb å ha (to have) and the past participle of the main
verb: For example, the Presens Perfektum of the verb Å kjøpe is made by (the auxiliary) har + (the past participle of the verb kjøpe) kjøpt = har kjøpt. When do we use the Presens perfektum? When we are focused on the consequences or results of a past event and not on the time when it happened. When something started in the past and is still going on. When we have a specification of time which includes the present
Ex: i dag (today), i år (this year), alltid (always), aldri (never) Take a look at the following Norwegian sentences Jens har vært hjemme hos Alex. Ben har vært i Fjordvik i tre måneder. Hva har du gjort i dag? In sentence number 1, The consequence or result is that Jens knows Alex’ family In sentence number 2, The result here is that he’s still living in Fjordvik In sentence number 3, The time frame here includes the present, the day is not over yet. When the sentence does not start with a subject as for the case of questions for instance or when the sentence starts with an adverb and you have the inversion phenomenon, the subject is placed between the verbs in the
presens prefect: Hva har du gjort i dag?  I dag har Jens vært hos Alex. In sentence number 1 the subject in the question DU is placed between HAR and the past participle GJORT In the second sentence the subject Jens is also placed between the verbs because of the inversion. Adverbs like ikke (not) and også (also) are always placed between the verbs in the present
perfect: Hun har ikke gjort leksene i dag.  I dag har hun ikke gjort leksene. So in the third sentence you find the adverb IKKE placed between the verbs HAR and GJORT. Finally, the last sentence presents two interesting features that we are going to analyse in the next slide
This sentence presents two interesting features: 1)Because the sentence starts with the adverb I DAG, we have the inversion phenomenon which places the subject HUN between the auxiliary verb HAR and the past participle GJORT. This is old news, we know that. 2) But the same phenomenon influences also the position of IKKE. Because we know that IKKE must always be placed between the verbs in the presens perfect, the only logical place
left is after the subject, hence: I dag HAR HUN IKKE GJORT leksene. How do you conjugate the regular verbs in Presens Perfektum? You have to follow the same subdivision of verbs in 4 groups which we learnt for the
Preteritum The verbs add the ending -et: snakke - snakket - har snakket vente - ventet  - har ventet
lage - laget - har laget  Group 2:
The verbs add the ending -t: å kjøpe - kjøpte - har kjøpt å spise - spiste - har spist å begynne - begynte - har begynt
Group 3: The verbs add the ending -d: prøve - prøvde - har prøvd  greie- greide - har greid
leie - leide - har leid  Group 4:
The verbs add the ending -dd: bo - bodde - har bodd bety - betydde - har betydd  The irregular verbs on the other hand have their own rules and specific paradigm and often change the vowel in the past tenses. In order to know which vowel belongs to the Presens Perfektum, you have to memorize the paradigm of the specific irregular verb as you for instance did when you learnt English, or other german languages if you did so.
For instance: dra - dro - har dratt  drikke - drakk - har drukket finne - fant - har funnet  Last but not least, we have the auxiliary verbs. In order to make the Presens perfektum of an auxiliary verb, you add –t to the infinitive. skal - skulle - skullet vil - ville - villet  kan - kunne - kunnet må - måtte - måttet  bør - burde - burdet We hope that this grammar presentation has been useful and you have now a clearer idea about which past tense to use according to the situation and how to conjugate verbs in both past tenses. If you wish to prooftest your knowledge, you can now jump to the grammar exercises for this week. Lykke til!

Last week we learnt about the Preteritum.

But we couldn’t leave you without first giving you a proper introduction to our second Past tense: Presens Perfektum.

Even if similar in both form and sometimes use, pay special attention to the differences between English Present perfect and Norwegian Presens Perfektum.

In Grammar Exercises you’ll find useful quizzes to check your understanding of the topic.

And under Downloads you have a comprehensive list of the most used Irregular verbs together with the verb summary and time preposition list from last week.


This article is from the free online

Norwegian for Beginners 2

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now