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Norwegian Verbs

There is no standard spoken form of Norwegian, though the language does have two official written forms, Bokmål and Nynorsk, as well as two unofficial forms. These written forms are independent from the spoken forms of the language, of which there is no one standard or official form as people speak their own dialects in virtually every circumstance.

Research has indicated that the majority of people, when given the option and regardless of the dialect those people generally use when speaking, use Bokmål as their written form. Norwegian verbs from both official written forms are quite similar, and all forms are largely mutually intelligible from one another. Bokmål is the written version that is most frequently taught to those learning Norwegian as an additional language to their native tongue.

Norwegian verbs are not conjugated for the purpose of indicating the person or number of the subject. Rather, these words are inflect to demonstrate tense and mood. Specifically, verbs within the Norwegian language are inflected to demonstrate past tense, present tense, indicative mood, and imperative mood. In situations in which other moods or tenses must be demonstrated the verbs must be combined in the past participle or infinitive form with auxiliary verbs.

In terms of conjugation and inflection, Norwegian verbs are rather simple. They can all be classified as either regular verbs or irregular verbs. When approaching a regular verb the conjugation will be reliant on how the verb stem ends. There are four classifications for the purpose of conjugating regular verbs. These are:

• Those verbs in which the infinitive form ends in a stressed vowel.

• Those verbs in which the verb stem ends in a diphthong.

• Those verbs in which the verb stem ends in a single consonant.

• Those verbs in which the verb stem ends in a series of more than one consonant.

There are only a few verbs that can be conjugated into the subjunctive mood. In Bokmål, as well as Standard Østnorsk, there is an additional form of the infinitive and present tense. This is the passive form. The other official written form, Nynorsk, has only a passive infinitive and in this form of the language this verb form is used much less frequently.

In some spoken dialects of the language Norwegian verbs in the indicative form can also be conjugated into number, though there are no instances in which there is conjugation into person.