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Which is most important when learning a new language – grammar or words (vocabulary)? Well, most native speakers will forgive you if you make a grammatical mistake or two. Without basic words, however, you can only point and smile. Here is a neat trick to increase your vocabulary: Learn micro-phrases with two or three words that naturally belong together! In that way you’ll also train your grammar sensibility without even thinking about it.
Some phrases make an ”echo”: You think a thought in English. In Norwegian, you tenker en tanke. You also drømmer en drøm (dream a dream), synger en sang (sing a song), and spiller et spill (play a game). Maybe you even drikker en drikk (drink a drink), lukter en lukt (smell a smell), smaker en smak (taste a taste), løper et løp (”run a run”) or dikter et dikt (compose a poem).
Other phrases are ”echoes” with a slight variation:
• å bygge en bygning (to build a building)
• å tegne en tegning (to draw a drawing)
• å male et maleri (to paint a painting)
• å bo i en bolig (to live in a home)
Some ”word couples” were simply meant to be – for example, you can’t eat without food. Throw in a jeg (I) in front to make simple phrases to memorize:
• Jeg spiser mat. (I eat food.)
• Jeg skriver brev. (I write [a] letter.)
• Jeg kjører bil. (I drive [a] car.)
• Jeg sover i en seng. (I sleep in a bed.)
• Vi går en tur. (We go for a walk.)
• Sola skinner. (The sun is shining. [This is what it does!])
• Katten mjauer. (The cat is mewing. [Who else could it be?])
Rhyming words are also very useful for learners:
• Spis is! (Eat ice-cream!)
• hest er best (horse is best)
• bake – kake – smake (bake – cake – taste)