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Grammar notes

Grammar
Grammar Word Cloud
© NTNU

SHORT ANSWERS

Sometimes, a short answer is all you need.

In English you might answer questions like this: Yes, I have. No, I haven’t. Yes, I do. No, I don’t, etc.

In Norwegian you make short answers in the following ways:

1) To answer questions starting with HAR (has/have) and ER (am/is/are) you repeat HAR and ER in the answer:

Har du ei fiskestang? Do you have a fishing rod?
Ja, det har jeg. Nei, det har jeg ikke. Yes, I have. No, I haven’t.

NB:

You always start your short answer with JA/NEI, comma and then DET – VERB – SUBJECT

Er du norsk? Are you Norwegian?
Ja, det er jeg. Nei, det er jeg ikke. Yes, I am. No, I’m not.

NB:

The negation IKKE is placed at the end of the short answer.

2) To answer questions starting with modal verbs you use the modal verb in the answer:

Kan vi gå på kino?  Can we go to the cinema?  
 Ja, det kan vi. Nei, det kan vi ikke.  Yes, we can. No, we can’t.
Skal du gå på konserten? Are you going to the concert?
Ja, det skal jeg. Nei, det skal jeg ikke. Yes, I am. No, I’m not.
Vil du se byen? Do you want to see the city?
Ja, det vil jeg. Nei, det vil jeg ikke. Yes, I do. No, I don’t.
du ringe ham? Do you have to call him?
Ja, det jeg. Nei, det jeg ikke. Yes, I do. No, I don’t.

3) When the questions contain other verbs than the ones mentioned in 1) and 2) you use GJØR (do/does) in your answer:

Liker du opera? Do you like opera?
Ja, det gjør jeg. Nei, det gjør jeg ikke. Yes, I do. No, I don’t.
Leser du ei bok? Are you reading a book?
Ja, det gjør jeg. Nei, det gjør jeg ikke. Yes, I am. No, I’m not.
Snakker du norsk? Do you speak Norwegian?
Ja, det gjør jeg. Nei, det gjør jeg ikke. Yes, I do. No, I don’t.

Note the following:

When the subject in the questions is det (it) or den (it) the verb in the short answer is followed by det or den:

Er det kaldt? Is it cold?
Ja, det er det. Nei, det er det ikke. Yes, it is. No, it isn’t.
Er den ny? Is it new?
Ja, det er den. Nei, det er den ikke. Yes, it is. No, it isn’t.

JA – JO

When a question is negative, JO is used instead of ja for positive answers:

Kommer du ikke fra Oslo? Are you not from Oslo?
Jo, det gjør jeg. Yes, I am.

Short Answer Card

© NTNU
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Norwegian for Beginners 3

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