Learn About Verbs In Norwegian Part 1

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A verb tells something about what is happening or the action taken. Associated with a verb is the tense of the verb. Norwegian verbs can use one of four tenses: presens, preteritum, futurum and perfektum.

But before we can start learning about verbs with tenses let us look at the infinitiv form of the verb. The infinitiv form is the dictionary form of the verb. So whenever you read verbs in a dictionary you will find them in this form. Below are some verbs in their infinitive form.

Norwegian English
å lese
to read
å reise
to travel
å kjøpe
to shop
å lage
to make
å sparke
to kick
å gjøre
to do
å gå
to go
å feire
to celebrate

Now that you know about the infinitive form of the Norwegian verbs, let us continue learning about the tenses of Norwegian verbs beginning with the present tense.

Presens (Present Tense)

A Norwegian verb in the presens could indicate something that:

1) is happening now.

2) which happens often.

3) which happens always.

Note that the presens form is created by adding a r to the infinitiv as below.

Infinitiv Presense Example English
å lese
Han leser nå.
He reads now.
å reise
Hun reiser i dag.
She travels today.
å kjøpe
Jeg kjøper is akkurat nå.
I buy ice cream just now.
å lage
Han lager middag nå.
He makes dinner now.
å sparke
De sparker fotball nå.
They kick football now.
å gjøre
Hun gjør leksene sine nå.
She does her lessons now.
å gå
Vi går på ski i dag.
We go to ski today.
å feire
De feirer i Italia nå.
They celebrate in Italy now.
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10 Replies to “Learn About Verbs In Norwegian Part 1”

  1. as you know, the nearest English equivalent to å kjøpe is to buy. While shop / kjøpe might sound alike to English speakers, Norwegians would use “å handle” for ‘ to shop.’

    Most people who go and ‘handler’ end up kjøper the goods after a while.

  2. present tense (in addition to your fine list above) is used if something will happen relatively soon (or in the future if the specific time is noted).

    Jeg feirer bursdagen om en uke

    Also note that å gjøre –> gjør does not follow the pattern: “The presens form is created by adding a r to the infinitiv as below. There are a few exceptions (å spørre –> spør, å vite –> vet…)

  3. Not sure you should think of “future” as a tense in Norwegian. It is rather formed with another auxiliary verb like ‘skal’ or ‘vil’ or a phrase like “kommer til å..). It’s not like so many other languages where there is a specific form for future.
    J’irai au magasin demain–>
    I will go to the store tomorrow.

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