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Ikke (not) phrases are often called negative phrases – even if some of them are very positive in meaning: Vi vil ikke ha mer krig! (We don’t want any more war!) Sometimes, though, even the most positive negative sentence can drive a poor language-learner mad: Where do(n’t) I put ikke?
Let’s take some simple summer phrases…
…and put them in denial:
So, basically, you just put ikke behind the main verb.
But how about questions? That’s where it’s getting – interesting:
See? The main verb jumps up front, while ikke politely stays in the line…
Fortunately, most Norwegians will understand you even if you place ikke a little off. Otherwise, I think that Dependent Clauses would make students run away screaming! 🙂 (There are 2 DC’s in the phrase I think THAT she told me WHEN she would get back.) Behold the marvel:
In case you wonder, the flipflop (snør ikke > ikke snør etc.) has a lot to do with inversion – a strange twist in Norwegian grammar – but that’s for another blog post (or you can read the one that Kari wrote)!
Now, place ikke the right place in these three sentences:
Vi __ finner __ Preikestolen. (We can’t find Preikestolen.)
__ finner __ vi __ Preikestolen?
Jeg tror at __ vi __ finner __ Preikestolen.
Yes, that’s right! 🙂 Not bad (ikke dårlig)!