Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Filip: Hi everyone, I’m Filip.
Becky: And I’m Becky. Welcome back to NorwegianClass101.com. This is Lower Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 4 - Helping a Norwegian Friend. In this lesson we’ll look at how you can be helpful to friends, neighbours, strangers and others, by asking if you can help them with whatever they’re doing.
Fillip In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask “Do you need help?”, and other variations of that question.
Becky: We’ll also introduce you to the phrase “Can you...?” which will be very practical to know while in Norway, or talking with Norwegians.
Filip: In this conversation, Kjersti is visiting her best friend Lise, who is moving out of her apartment. Kjersti is asking if she needs any help.
Becky: Let’s listen to the conversation.
Becky: I have to say, I’ve heard that Norwegians aren’t really that helpful towards strangers or even friends a lot of the time.
Filip: Well, we like to think of ourselves as a courteous and helpful bunch, but in reality I would agree with you. Still, we do tend to ask friends and neighbours if they need any help, even though it might not look like they do.
Becky: My friend who lived there said none of her neighbors were very friendly when she was living in the city. But I do get your point. Go a short distance out to the countryside and you’ll suddenly find a lot more helpful people!
Filip: Definitely. The communities found in hamlets and villages are way more close-knit, and nicer to each other.
Becky: Nonetheless, it can be very practical to know how to ask if you can help someone. A generally helpful attitude will go a long way, and people alway appreciate help when they need it.
Filip: Helping old ladies carrying their shopping bags to their door makes them very grateful, for example.
Becky: Haha, yeah but beware. Not all old ladies are happy to part with their shopping bags, and some are also generally suspicious of strangers.
Filip: But still, a nice and helpful attitude can get you a long way! Okay, now it’s time for the vocab. this lesson.
Becky: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. There are three words that could do with some clarification in this lesson.
Filip: Let me guess, ‘Mer’, ‘noe’, and ‘å måtte’?
Becky: Exactly, and let’s start with ‘mer’. Directly translated it means “more”, but depending on the context, it can have a few different meanings in English.
Filip: Like we saw in the dialogue for this lesson, ‘mer’ took on the meaning “else”. Kjersti asks ‘er det noe mer?’
Becky: This translates as “Is there anything else?”, but directly translated it would be something like “Is there something more?” That translation doesn’t sound entirely right in English, however.
Filip: Which brings us to the next word, ‘noe’. ‘Noe’ means “something”, directly translated, but it could also be used if we want to say “anything”. As in our dialogue, it is better translated as “anything”.
Becky: Exactly. You could compare and contrast it. The phrases “I want something” and “I don’t want anything” - how would you translate them in Norwegian?
Filip: ‘Jeg vil ha noe.’ - “I want something”. ‘Jeg vil ikke ha noe.’ - “I don’t want anything”.
Becky: As you can see, ‘noe’ can be used for “something/anything” and ‘mer’ for “more/else”
Filip: The final word is the verb ‘å måtte’.
Becky: It translates as “to have to”. Coupled with a negative, however, like in our sample sentences for this lesson, you’ll see that it translates as “should not” or “had better not”. Let’s look at some sample sentences for our three words.
Becky: Alright. First, ‘Jeg vil ikke ha mer.’
Filip: “I don’t want more”.
Becky: Jeg vil ha noe annet.
Filip: “I want something else.”
Becky: Han måtte dra hjem.
Filip: “He had to go home.”
Becky: Okay, let’s move on to the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask “Can I help you with something” and how to ask “Can you... help me” for example.
Filip: In our dialogue, Lise is moving out of her apartment and Kjersti asks if she needs any help. She asks using the phrase ‘Trenger du hjelp?’
Becky: It translates as “Do you need help?” Let’s look at this phrase.
Filip: First we have ‘trenger’ which means “need”. It is followed by ‘du’
Becky: The pronoun “you”.
Filip: And finally comes ‘hjelp’.
Becky: “Help”. It’s a fairly simple sentence.
Filip: And while this phrase sounds a bit urgent, it is often used by Norwegians. Of course, you can tone down the urgency by adding a word we saw earlier in this lesson, ‘noe’. The phrase then becomes ‘trenger du noe hjelp?’
Becky: And that translates as “Do you need any help?” And it tones down the sense of urgency a lot. If you want to be more specific when asking, you can also simply add to the phrase to make the question more detailed.
Filip: Between the ‘hjelp’ and the question mark, simply add a ‘med’.
Becky: It means “with”. And after it, add a noun or verb in the infinitive plus a noun. Filip, please give us some examples with this.
Filip: Certainly. ‘trenger du hjelp med bilen?’
Becky: “Do you need help with the car?
Filip: trenger du hjelp med husvaskingen?
Becky: “Do you need help with cleaning the house?”
Filip: trenger du noe hjelp med kaninene?
Becky: “Do you need any help with the rabbits?”
Filip: And that should help you get on the way with those questions.
Becky: Now after you have finished helping your friend, it’s always nice to show a little more politeness and initiative and ask...
Filip: Er det noe mer du trenger hjelp med?
Becky: “Is there anything else you need help with?” Now, we know this is a long, dragging sentence. But it can be shortened a lot more to make it less difficult to ask. Simply cut the sentence in two and leave the last part out, like this...
Filip: Er det noe mer?
Becky: “Is there anything else?” Finally, let’s look at what your friend would reply with or ask you if they needed help. It’s fairly simple and the starting phrase “can you” is going to be a very practical sentence beginner - it means “to know”. Let’s look at how to say “Can you help me?”
Filip: Kan du hjelpe meg?
Becky: And let’s break this down too. First we have
Filip: ‘kan’ which means “can”, it’s a verb.
Becky: This is followed by...
Filip: ‘du’ which means “you”. This is followed by the verb ‘hjelpe’.
Becky: “to help” and finally the passive pronoun ‘meg.’ “me”. Now you can ask this to anybody, if you need help yourself. And of course, if you want to expand on this question, simply do like we did when we asked the other way around, and add “with”. Let’s look at some more examples of this.
Filip: Kan du hjelpe meg med å vaske bilen?
Becky: “Could you help me clean the car?”
Filip: Kan du hjelpe meg med noe?
Becky: “Could you help me with something?”
Filip: Kan du hjelpe meg med maten?
Becky: “Could you help me with the food?”
Filip: And that should help you understand this structure pretty well.


Becky: That’s all for this lesson. Be sure to check the lesson notes, everyone.
Filip: Takk for at du hørte på oss!
Becky: See you next time!
Filip: Bye!