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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! [Ida] here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher where I’ll answer some of your most common [Norwegian] questions.
The question for this lesson is…Where do I place the verb in a sentence?
When studying a new language, word order can be a bit confusing. However, Norwegian sentence structure isn't that hard when you know the main rules.
Norwegian is written as S-V-O (subject-verb-object) just like English. Therefore, sentences start with a subject, then a verb in the middle followed by an object.
Let's do a simple sentence first--
Jeg snakker norsk. This means, “I speak Norwegian.” Here, Jeg, “I” comes first as the subject, followed by snakker, “speak,” the verb, and finishing with norsk, “Norwegian” the object.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Let’s go over them together.
First, is when you want to add emphasis. This is called inversion. For example, if it’s particularly chilly today, you may say, Det er kaldt i dag “It is cold today,” instead of I dag er det kaldt “Today it is cold,” to stress how cold it is.
Second, you usually use inversion when you have two verbs in a sentence. Let’s go back to our very first sentence, Jeg kan snakke norsk. “I can speak Norwegian.”
Let’s change the sentence to include the word, “now.”
Jeg kan snakke norsk nå. “I can speak Norwegian now.” If we use inversion, the subject will come between the two verbs.
As in, Nå kan jeg snakke norsk. “Now I can speak Norwegian.”
Last, when you make a yes-or-no question, you start with the verb. An example would be, Snakker du norsk? meaning “Do you speak Norwegian?” But it literally means, “Speak you Norwegian?”
How was this lesson? Pretty interesting, right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
[Hade. Vi sees snart!] “Bye. See you soon!”