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Subordinate Clauses

Grammar video about subordinate clauses

Welcome again to Language Features!

We thought to start the week by resuming our last conversation about Subordinate Clauses.

You might watch the video from Course 2 again just to refresh the topic and then read this complementary note on the matter.

Subordinates can be difficult beasts to tame, so we will try to make this overview simple and practical.

We have different type of Subordinates, here we take a closer look at two of them, Relative Clauses with SOM and Subordinates of time with NÅR and DA.

Relative clauses with SOM

The English relative pronouns who, which and that are all translated with SOM in Norwegian, regardless of whether it is referring to people, animals or objects:
Jeg har en bror. Han er 30 år gammel. I have a brother. He is 30 years old.

→ Jeg har en bror SOM er 30 år gammel. (I have a brother who is 30 years old.)

Jeg har en katt. Den er søt. I have a cat. It is cute.

→ Jeg har en katt SOM er søt. (I have a cat which is cute.)

Jeg har en bil. Den er ny. I have a car. It is new.
→ Jeg har en bil SOM er ny. (I have a car which is new.)
A relative clause is a subordinate clause, and therefore adverbs like ikke are placed in front of the verb:
Jeg har en bil SOM IKKE er ny. I have a car which is not new.
In the examples above, SOM is also the Subject of the relative clause. Right?
SOM, like the English relative pronouns who, which and that, is used to replace either the Subject or the Object in a subordinate.
When SOM is not the Subject of the relative clause, the real Subject will come directly after SOM, as for any other subordinating conjunction:
Jeg har en bil SOM JEG kjøpte i juni. I have a car which I bought in June.
In this case, SOM substitutes the word CAR which is the Object of the relative clause, while the Subject is JEG.
Is it all right? You might read this again and try to make some examples on your own so it will be easier to learn this sentence structure.

Subordinates with DA and NÅR

Both da and når mean when.
We use da about a single occurrence or a completed action in the past.
N.B: We have to use the Preteritum form of the verb in this case.
Alex traff Jens da han begynte i barnehagen. Alex met Jens when he started in kindergarten.
Jeg bodde i Frankrike da jeg var barn. I lived in France when I was a child.
We use når for customary or repeated actions, even for repeated actions in the past:
Jeg liker å slappe av når jeg kommer hjem fra jobben. I like to relax when I come home from work.
Jeg likte alltid å slappe av når jeg kom hjem fra jobben. I always liked to relax when I came home from work.
We also use når for actions in the future:
Jeg skal ta eksamen når kurset er ferdig. I will take the exam when the course is finished.

We hope this overview was useful.

You can try to make your own examples if you think that will make it easier for you to learn.

And of course you always have this week’s grammar exercises to practise more.

This article is from the free online

Norwegian for Beginners 3

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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