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The Norwegian verb ´to be´ Posted by on Feb 24, 2011 in Grammar

å være eller å ikke være-to be or not to be.  det er spørsmålet-that is the question.

Alright, I couldn´t resist after I decided to write a post about the verb ´to be´-å være.

This is a verb that we probably use more than any other.  In some or another we talk about ourselves and how we feel or what we are doing.  We use the verb in several  forms.  For example:

Jeg er amerikansk.  I am American.

Hun var trøtt.  She was tired.

Vi skulle være først.  We would be first.

Han burde ha vært der.  He should have been there.

De kommer til å være glade. They will be happy.

So to make it a bit easier to get the tenses down (remember there is no verb conjugation 🙂  ), see the table below:

Infinitive Present Past Perfect

å være                            er                                      var                      har vært

And here is the present tense for all of the different pronouns (again notice, no verb conjugation:)   ):

Jeg er Morten. I am Morten.

Du er Morten. You are Morten.

Han er Morten. He is Morten.

Hun er Anne. She is Anne.

Det er Morten. It is/This is Morten.

Vi er Morten og Anne. We are Morten and Anne.

Dere er Morten og Anne. You are Morten and Anne.

De er Morten og Anne. They are Morten and Anne.

How about if you want to ask a question?

Most of the time, the verb placement follows the same rule as all other verbs-they are in place #1.  Unless of course you are using the verb in the infinitve form such as example 2 below.  Or if you are asking a question regarding time (example 3).

Er du hjemme? Are you at home?

2.  Burde du ha vært der? Should you have been there?

3. Når skal du være ferdig? When will you be ready?

It´s a pretty easy verb, but is irregular.  The vowel changes from a straight ´a´to an ´æ,´ but once you have that down, it´s pretty simple.  Try to use it!

 

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!