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Lesson Transcript

Filip: Hi everyone, I am Filip.
Becky: And I’m Becky. Welcome to NorwegianClass101.com. This is Lower Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 12 - Are you Getting Hungry in Norway?
Filip: In this lesson, you’ll learn about negatives.
Becky: This lesson will also be short and easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.
Filip: The conversation is between Kjersti and Espen, who are still on the road to Galdhøpiggen. Espen is a bit hungry, and wants to know if Kjersti has brought any food.
Becky: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Becky: One thing I’ve noticed about using negatives, is that people don’t necessarily understand it’s a negative if your tone or body language is happy or off.
Filip: It’s also better not to sound too negative when you use negatives. It might be mistaken for sarcasm!
Becky: Yes, sarcasm isn’t always easy to grasp.
Filip: I think it differs from social circle to social circle, or area to area. Some people find it easy to understand and some don’t. Some cultures have never included sarcasm, so people may not be that used to it.
Becky: Indeed. “You aren’t the sharpest knife in the drawer” is an insult. But it could also be sarcasm.
Filip: Right, for a one-time incident, for example. You need to be careful when using negative sarcasm like that. Although it’s meant to be positive or humorous, not everyone gets that.
Becky: Yes, if you’re using sarcasm, make sure you don’t hurt someone unintentionally!
Filip: Right, and for the record the “sharpest knife...”-phrase is ‘du er ikke den skarpeste kniven i skuffen.’ in Norwegian.
Becky: Nice, now let’s get on with our vocabulary.
Becky: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Filip: In the dialogue, Espen asks Kjersti ‘Tok du med noe mat?’ You might not have recognized ‘tok’, which is the past tense of ‘å ta’ (“to take”)
Becky: And in this context, the verb is better translated as “to bring”
Filip: So ‘Tok du med noe mat’ is
Becky: Did you bring any food?
Filip: Jeg tok med sekken
Becky: “I brought the bag”
Filip: Next, we’ll explain the phrases ‘er ikke’ and ‘har ikke’ some more in the grammar section, but ‘er’ is the present tense of ‘å være’ and ‘har’ is the present tense of ‘å ha’.
Becky: We can make these phrases into past tense by conjugating the verbs, thus creating “Wasn’t” and “hasn’t”
Filip: Our negative ‘ikke’ translates as “not”.
Becky: You’ll find that adding it to a simple sentence to make it negative, can also make it a complex sentence.
Filip: There are many ways you can combine ‘ikke’ with different verbs, but in this lesson, we’ll focus on ‘er’ and ‘har’ in front of it to make...
Becky: “Isn’t and “hasn’t. Let’s hear some examples.
Filip: Var ikke det Johannes?
Becky: “Wasn’t that Johannes?”
Filip: Du hadde ikke penger på deg?
Becky: “You didn’t have money on you?”
Filip: Finally, ‘heller’ is quite hard to explain. However in most cases it would translate as “rather” like in our sample sentences. When it is put in a sentence with a negative it usually translates as “Either” instead.
Becky: Let’s look at an example to make this clearer.
Filip: Jeg vet ikke hvor det ble av Johannes, heller.
Becky: “I don’t know where Johannes went either.” Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Filip: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use negatives.
Becky: Espen was obviously hungry back there, so he asked Kjersti two questions, and she responded negatively to both.
Filip: The first question was ‘Er du sulten?’
Becky: Are you hungry?
Filip: And the second question was ‘Tok du med noe mat...?’
Becky: Did you bring any food...?
Filip: You might have noticed that both questions were the VSO structure we talked about earlier in this series.
Becky: In other words, the answers would be either “yes” or “no”.
Filip: But in our dialogue, Kjersti expands on these answers, and that’s what we’ll look at.
Becky: Yes, let’s look at how she builds up her answers.
Filip: Nei, jeg er ikke så sulten.
Becky: “No I am not that hungry.” Now this is clearly an SVO sentence, and let’s look at why.
Filip: ‘Nei’ is an interjection, the first word in the sentence is ‘jeg’ - the subject, it’s followed by ‘er’ which is the verb, and that’s followed by ‘ikke’, which is the negative, then comes ‘så’ which is an adverb that modifies our final adjective, ‘sulten’, and this becomes the object of the sentence.
Becky: As you can see the negative comes directly behind the verb in this sentence. And fortunately, this is almost always the case with these SVO sentences.
Filip: Her next answer is more or less the same - ‘Nei, jeg har ikke tatt med noe.’
Becky: “No, I haven’t brought anything.”
Filip: Again, ‘Nei’, interjection, ‘jeg’ - subject, ‘har’ - verb, ‘ikke’ - negative, ‘tatt’ - verb number two, and ‘med noe’ is the object.
Becky: There are 2 verbs here...
Filip: Yes, because ‘har’ and ‘tatt’ together form a perfect past tense verb. ‘Har tatt’ is the perfect past tense of the verb ‘å ta’
Becky: “to take”. When a verb is in the present perfect tense, then the negative ‘ikke’ will always come between the ‘har’ and the second verb.
Filip: Well, we say that ‘ikke’ always comes after the first verb, but that’s not always true. When you add adverbs to the sentence, it becomes more complex.
Becky: True, adverbs like “either”, “always”, and “almost” add to the complexity of the sentence.
Filip: In our dialogue Espen says, ‘Nei, jeg har heller ikke mat’.
Becky: No, I don’t have food either.
Filip: ‘Heller’ always goes in between the first verb and ‘ikke’.
Becky: The easiest way to learn where these go naturally, is by learning each adverb individually.
Filip: For example ‘alltid’ meaning “always” will always go after ‘ikke’, and not before. Like in ‘Jeg er ikke alltid sulten.’
Becky: “I am not always hungry.” Alright let’s look at some examples.
Filip: Jeg er ikke helt frisk
Becky: “I am not entirely OK.”
Filip: Du har vel ikke mat?
Becky: “You don’t happen to have food?”
Filip: Vi er ikke sammen lenger
Becky: “We aren’t together anymore”


Becky: Alright that’s going to do it for this lesson. Make sure you check the lesson notes in case you missed something, and we’ll see you next time.
Filip: Takk for at dere hørte på, hade!
Becky: Bye!