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Archive for 'Icelandic grammar'

The Week of Exercises! (Passive) Posted by on Sep 22, 2017

Today I’m going to share a few practices with you for the passive voice, which we went over in July. I hope you find these helpful. I’ll post additional exercises over the next week, for you to get used to the passive before we finish the topic up.   Also, as a note: I’ve been…

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Menntun, Menning, Minning: Education, Culture, Memory Posted by on Aug 25, 2017

Last Saturday, a friend and colleague (who I’d never met before) arrived in Reykjavik. Belgian by birth, she is a world traveler, entrepreneur, artist, and yoga teacher. She’d just returned from a trip to the desert, where she finds poetry, and was on her way to produce and direct an event in Antwerp called Poëziebordeel…

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Passive Voice Part II: Dative v. Accusative/Additional Cases Mingling With Passive Posted by on Jul 27, 2017

Last time, we went over the basics of the passive voice. That concept – when the object of the sentence becomes the subject of the sentence and takes the nominative case– is called nefnifallsþolmynd. As the name implies, it is the “nominative” passive. Today, we’ll take it a step farther. Then, in my next blog, we’ll…

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The Passive Voice: As Straightforward As It Seems? Posted by on Jul 18, 2017

That’s a resounding nei, but you can get used to it. You can’t be passive if you want to learn to use the passive voice (þolmynd) in Icelandic. From the beginning of my education in English grammar, my teachers taught me to avoid the passive voice at all costs. In university lectures, the passive was reserved…

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I Know How To Do It, But Not How To Say It: Helping Verbs 101 Posted by on Jun 14, 2017

Today, I’d like to cover a few auxiliary verbs that I consider to be indispensable tools to have in your Icelandic repertoire. All of the verbs in this entry symbolize, in some way, a knowledge of something. They range from ability (hæfni) to aptitude (hæfileiki) to knowledge (kunnátta) to facts (staðreynd) to mere familiarity or…

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How To Say No With Authority Posted by on May 31, 2017

As with any language, Icelandic has its fill of filler words. In English, for example, we have words like none, some, a few, each other, both, neither, and the list goes on. And we have creative ways – in my opinion – of saying no to each other. No, I think we all can agree…

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Making Up Words: Let’s Talk Compounds Posted by on May 15, 2017

In my experience, Icelandic has no especial proclivity for succinctity, but it does have some words and phrases that are executed so elegantly that they work like swift brush strokes in a sentence. And compound words are in many cases the key to this eloquence through brevity. Plus, you can use the to your advantage…

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