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Lesson Transcript

Filip: Hi, I am Filip.
Becky: And I’m Becky. Welcome back to NorwegianClass101.com. This is Lower Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 19 - Love At First Sight in Norway. So Filip, after last lesson’s topic of fears, we had to talking about something nicer, right?
Filip: Right! In this lesson, we will learn some more about the past tense, and how to use the conjunction ‘når’. In the conversation, Lise is asking Kjersti how she and Espen first met.
Becky: It should be probably very very romantic! Let’s listen to the conversation.
Becky: So, Norwegians talk about love a lot more than they talk about their fears, right?
Filip: Yes, it’s a lot more common. Most Norwegians don’t feel embarrassed to talk about it.
Becky: I guess most people can relate to it in some way, and some people even think it’s interesting to talk about.
Filip: Indeed. Some people do get offended if you ask them about their love life, but a lot more people are totally fine with it. That said, you shouldn’t dig into intimate details about peoples’ love lives either. Norwegians aren’t comfortable with that.
Becky: Instead, try to ask more general questions about their personal life. Unless you’re close friends, of course.
Filip: Yeah, and it’s definitely not cool to walk up to a stranger at a bar asking if they are single or not. They might think you’re trying to hit on them.
Becky: So don’t make their personal life the first conversation topic, that will probably be awkward.
Filip: Exactly. As we have mentioned countless times earlier, your best bet would be to talk about the weather. It’s one of the most tried and true ice breakers!
Becky: Ok, there’s some good tips, listeners! Now let’s get on to the vocab.
Becky: Let's have a closer look at the usuage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Filip: First, let’s take a look at the word ‘vel.’ This word can be quite confusing.
Becky: Right, especially when it comes to when to use it.
Filip: ‘Vel’ means “well”, “probably”, or “might be”.
Becky: It comes from the English “well” - they almost sound the same. Other than that, it has more in common with “probably”. You can use it like the interjection “well” when you put it at the beginning of the sentence.
Filip: And you can also add it mid-sentence in a question to make an “is it?” sort of prompt to the question.
Becky: Right, let’s look at some examples.
Filip: Vel, det er ikke vår feil at du gjør det dårlig
Becky: “Well, it’s not our fault that you are performing poorly.”
Filip: Det er vel ikke dyrt?
Becky: “It isn’t expensive, is it?”
Filip: Det var vel i går at vi spiste på brygga
Becky: “It was probably yesterday that we ate at the docks”
Filip: Next, let’s explain how ‘jo’ works again.
Becky: In this dialogue, Espen uses it to express inclination towards Lise’s suggestion.
Filip: By saying ‘jo’, it’s almost like saying “well” or “come on”. ‘Jo’ is also often used to deny a second opinion on something, and agree with the first one.
Becky: And also if someone says ‘nei’, meaning “no”, in response to a question
Filip: ‘jo’ is often used to try to persuade that person to say yes.
Becky: Right, the best way is to illustrate this with examples.
Filip: Jo, bli med på turen da.
Becky: “Come on, join the trip please.”
Filip: Jo, jeg synes hun har rett.
Becky: “Well, I think she is right”
Filip: Du liker Mozart ikke sant? - Nei. - Jo, du kan da ikke mene det?
Becky: “You like Mozart right? - No. - Oh come on, you can’t mean that right?” Ok, let’s move on to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Filip: In this lesson, you’ll learn about using the conjunction ‘når’ which means “when”, and we’ll also take a quick look back at the past tense.
Becky: Let’s start by explaining the conjunction “when”.
Filip: ‘Når’. When asking questions related to time, we often use this conjunction. In our dialogue, we were asking about past events. And we used ‘når’ plus the verb ‘var’ which is a past tense of ‘å være.’
Becky: “to be”. If you want to ask someone when they visited a certain place for example, in English you say “when were you...”
Filip: In Norwegian ‘Når var du...’ plus a preposition and the place.
Becky: Now, it’s worth tell you that prepositions can be a bit difficult in Norwegian. This is because they’re so specific to the place you’re talking about. We won’t go over preposition usage in this lesson, but please pay attention to the prepositions we’re using in our sample sentences, since they’re the correct ones.
Filip: Ok, let’s say you want to ask “when were you in Oslo?” You’d simply ask ‘Når var du i Oslo?’
Becky: Alright, what about a specific building in Oslo? For example, the Opera?
Filip: Well, then you’d say ‘når var du på operaen?’
Becky: “When were you at the Opera?” Ok, so say you want to ask “when was it” plus whatever you were wondering about, just like in our dialogue. It’s a bit different from “when was”.
Filip: In English, if you want to ask “when was it you met?” the only way you can rephrase that question, is by saying “when did you meet?”
Becky: The second example sounds a lot more recent or light than the first. Also the first example is usually used to confirm something you already know, or have heard.
Filip: In Norwegian, the questions would be ‘Når var det dere møttes?’ and ‘når møttes dere?’ respectively.
Becky: Let’s concentrate on the former for now. The structure is pretty similar to the first “when was” that we covered.
Filip: Except this time, you add ‘det’ after ‘var’, making it ‘når var det’ which means “when was it”.
Becky: This shouldn’t be too hard to grasp, because it’s basically saying the same as in English. Let’s look at some examples instead to make this clear.
Filip: Når var det du giftet deg?
Becky: “When was it you got married?”
Filip: Når var det hun dro?
Becky: “When was it she left?”
Filip: Når var det han skulle på butikken?
Becky: “When was it he was supposed to go to the shop?”
Filip: It can sound a bit dreary translated to English, because you hardly ever use this form. But in Norwegian you will often hear this form instead of ‘Når skulle han på butikken?’ Even though that one is much simpler.
Becky: OK. Now, let’s go over a bit of simple past tense once more. To answer a question like the one we just asked in Norwegian, all you have to do is use some simple past tense sentences.
Filip: Take for example our first question. If you remember the VSO, SVO structures then you probably noticed that both questions are VSO, as expected.
Becky: To answer them, simply change the sentence around to an SVO.
Filip: Take for example ‘når var du i Oslo.’
Becky: “When were you in Oslo?” It’s made up of a Conjunction + the Verb, then Subject, then preposition plus Object.
Filip: To answer, simply switch the sentence around and add the time, and of course remove the ‘når’, which means “when”.
Filip: Jeg var i Oslo i går.
Becky: “I was in Oslo yesterday”. Here we switched over so the Subject came first, and the Verb followed it. We also removed the conjunction and added “yesterday”
Filip: Jeg .... var .... i Oslo .... i går
Becky: Let’s look at some more examples.
Filip: Jeg giftet meg i fjor
Becky: “I got married last year.”
Filip: Hun dro for en time siden
Becky: “She left an hour ago.”
Filip: Han skulle dra klokken seks
Becky: “He was going at 6 o’clock.”


Becky: Okay, that’s all for this lesson.
Filip: Make sure to listen again and check the lesson notes.
Becky: Thanks for listening, everyone.
Filip: Takk for at dere hørte på, hade!
Becky: Bye!