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Linking Phrases Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 in Grammar

(Free image from Open Clipart.)

(Free image from Open Clipart.)

Ja… Nei… Kanskje… It’s very easy to be a new learner – you just have to say a few words and all the native speakers will cheer on you and say bra (good)! 🙂 Sooner or later, however, you’ll have to stitch all your grunts and monosyllables together to something a bit more eloquent… That’s where the conjunctions (in Norwegian also known as bindeord or ”binding words”) come handy:

Ola og Kari (Ola and Kari)
Hun datt og slo seg på isen (She fell and hurt herself on the ice)
Barna synger, og de voksne tar bilder (The children are singing and the adults are taking photos)
Vil du ha brus eller rødvin til maten? (Do you want lemonade or red wine with your food?)
De verken smiler eller ler. (They neither smile nor laugh.)
Liten men tøff! (Small but tough!)
Vi vil gjerne besøke Bergen, men ikke når det regner! (We would like to visit Bergen, but not when it’s raining!)
Jeg gleder meg til snøen kommer, for da kan jeg gå på ski! (I’m looking forward to snowfall, because then I can go skiing!)

Og-eller-men-for are often called sideordnende konjunksjoner, since they ordner (arrange/”fix”) two words or phrases ”side-by-side” without one of them being ”gramatically dominant”. In the latter case, the conjuction is called underordnende (”subjugating”) – here are just a few of the most common ones:

Jeg lærer norsk fordi jeg liker utfordringer! (I’m learning Norwegian because I like challenges!)
Hvis [vis] du er snill, får en klem. (If you’re nice, you’ll get a hug.)
Vi klarer oss bra dersom strømmen går. (We’ll manage fine if/in case the electricity ”goes”.)
Hva skal vi gjøre når snøen smelter? (What are we going to do when the snow melts?)
Lær norsk mens du sover! (Learn Norwegian while you sleep!)

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.