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Lesson Transcript

Jasmine: Hi, everyone, and welcome to the grammar portion of NorwegianClass101.com's All About Series! This is All About Series Lesson 3, Norwegian Grammar.
Filip: Oh no, not grammar!
Jasmine: I'm sure some of our listeners are having the same reaction. But, we're here to tell you – there's nothing to worry about here.
Filip: That's right! We've made Norwegian grammar so simple that you'll wonder what the fuss was all about.
Jasmine: Yes, we´re here to help you along the way, and make it fun. So lets take a look at what Norwegian grammar is all about. Filip, what can you tell us about it?
Filip: For one, basic word order is similar to English.
Jasmine: You probably don't need to study it.
Filip: Some of the more difficult aspects of Norwegian grammar, like gender and subjunctives, can't be easily summed up. You need complicated grammar explanations to understand how it all works, right?
Jasmine: Nope Both gender and the subjunctive can be easily summed up in one word: agreement. Grammatical agreement means that the pieces and parts of a sentence need to agree with or match everything else. We'll talk more about this a bit later.
Jasmine: Another basic grammatical concept is verbs.
Filip: Verbs indicate action, like "run" or "sit."
Jasmine: Right. All languages have verbs, which makes learning verbs an important place to start.
Filip: But every language uses those verbs differently which means that they need special attention.
Jasmine: That's right. Norwegian verbs act almost exactly the same as English verbs, so if you know the English basics then there's nothing to worry about.
Filip: That means...less vocabulary to learn!
Jasmine: Norwegian verbs contain one central meaning - time (also called tense).
Filip: "Time" (or tense) is past, present, or future.
Jasmine: That's it? No other meanings are needed?!
Filip: Only time. This meaning is expressed by changing the verbs according to specific patterns called conjugations.
Jasmine: Yes. Conjugating verbs is a way of making the verbs agree or match what you are talking about.
Filip: Time is indicated by changing the verb to a past, present, or future form.
Jasmine: English verbs change, or conjugate, too. The difference is that English verbs change according to different conjugation patterns.
Filip: That's right. For example, time can be expressed as "I was happy" (past), which is different from "I am happy" (present), which is different from "I will be happy" (future).
Jasmine: Exactly. In English they also express the meaning "person" like "I am happy," which is different from "He is happy," which is different from "We are happy."
Filip: Which is not at all necessary for verbs in Norwegian! Norwegian verbs are conjugated according to patterns that are slightly different than English.
Jasmine: Yet Norwegian verbs have the same or slightly more meaning in them than English verbs do.
Filip: For example, a response to "Kommer du snart?" ("Are you arriving soon?") is "Jeg løper," which means, "I running."
Jasmine: In English the present time (tense) "am" is needed to make a sentence. In Norwegian this is not needed.
Filip: That's right. Although "to be" exists in Norwegian it is not needed to express "time."
Jasmine: There are, however, lots of interesting and simple ways you can use verbs in Norwegian.
Filip: Don't worry! We'll teach you each and every one of them as our course goes along. But now, we need to talk a bit about grammatical gender.
Jasmine: Agreement is also expressed in Norwegian with gender.
Filip: Gender in Norwegian denotes a particular type of agreement among words, not people.
Jasmine: Exactly. "dame" ("woman") is feminine but so is "ku" ("cow") and "sol" ("sun").
Filip: Likewise, "mann" ("man") is masculine but so is "bil" ("car") and "vask" ("sink").
Jasmine: This may sound strange but it is pretty easy to pick up.
Filip: English does this too, just not as much.
Jasmine: For example, we don't say, "He is a stewardess" because "stewardess" denotes femininity and "He" indicates masculinity.
Filip: Oh, and Norwegian also has a gender neutral form like "hus" ("house") and "skap" ("cupboard"). So all in all, three grammatical genders.
Jasmine: Tables, chairs, cars, trees, socks, and food all have gender in Norwegian.
Filip: Once again, don't get caught up in the details, just go for the general concept.
Jasmine: That's right. We'll go over this in more detail in future lessons.
Filip: The last thing we should talk about is plurality.
Jasmine: Once again, this is a form of agreement among words.
Filip: Right. We already learned that verbs need to be altered or conjugated to the correct time.
Jasmine: Same as English.
Filip: Yes. Norwegian extends plurality to nouns and articles. Well, I guess that's enough for today.
Jasmine: We hope this has prepared you for your journey into Norwegian.
Filip: Hopefully after this there should be no major surprises!
Jasmine: Keep up with the All About Series for more lessons that will teach you Norwegian the easy and fun way!
Filip: Until next time!