Eleventh lesson

Word order in questions and visit to post office.


God dag, alle sammen! NorwegianABC.com lessons are saying hello for the tenth time. Todays is leksjon nummer ti. Are you ready to continue learning correct Norwegian? We have already learnt about the nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, clauses, and cardinals. Now it is important to arrange them correctly in a sentence. Today we will learn the word order – ordstilling. La oss begynne.

Lesson video   


1en postmann  a postman
2varm  warm
3gift  married
4kjøpe  to buy
5en avis  a newspaper
6sjalu  jealous
7en sjokolade  chocolate
8å gjøre  to act, to do
9hjemmelekser  homework
10en kiosk  kiosk
11i kiosken  to a kiosk
12på kiosker  in kiosks
13en bensinstasjon  gas station
14på bensinstasjoner  in gas stations
15et frimerke  post stamp
16frimerker  post stamps
17en post  a post
18et postkontor  a post
19Hva skal du gjøre nå  What will you do now?
20Har dere frimerker  Do you have post stamps?
21jeg vil ha  I want to have
22Hvor mye koster et postkort  How much is a postcard?
23Hvor mye blir det  How much does it cost?
24Kan jeg lese bøker  Can I read books?
25Kan du snakke høyt  Can you speak loud?
26å sende  to send
27å sende et postkort  to send a postcard
28Kommer han ikke nå  Isn’t he coming now?
29Spiser vi ikke middag  Don’t we eat dinner?
30Kjøper Jan ikke et postkort  Isn’t Jan buying a postcard?
31Liker du ikke epler  Don’t you like apples?
32Må du ikke kjøre sakte  Mustn’t you drive slow?
33et brev  a letter
34å sende et brev  to send a letter
35et hovedpostkontor  central post office
36gå på posten  go to the post office
37en flypost  air mail
38gå på postkontoret  go to the post office
39en luftpost  air mail
40å sende med posten  to send by mail
41ei en postkasse  mailbox
42en postboks  subscriber’s mailbox
43å sende i posten  to send by mail


  • - God dag, norsk studenter! Hyggelig å hilse på dere igjen! I dag har vi leksjon nummer elleve.

Hello to all the brave learners of Norwegian from norwegianABC.com! Today we will have lesson eleven, and it will be fun and valuable as usual.

  • - God dag, alle sammen. Går det bra med dere?

Are you ready to learn Norwegian? Today we will learn word order ordstilling in questions. Moreover, we will visit a post office.

First, let’s do a listening task. Do you remember the Norwegian word for it?

Repeat with me:   en lytteøvelse.

Å lytte
to listen

How would you say:

We are listening.
Vi lytter.

And how would you say:

We must listen.
Vi må lytte.

This was a surprise test at the very beginning of the lesson. Did you pass it?

Let’s start Lytteøvelser. Let’s do some practice with our tongues before the grammar part of the lesson. Ema, er du klar?

  • - Ja, jeg er klar. Vi kan begynne.

In this listening task, we have selected words with difficult pronunciation. Listen carefully and repeat with me:

De er gift.
They are married.

Let’s repeat again. Listen to the pronunciation of the first consonant: gift.

Gift. De er gift.

to buy
Lise kjøper fire aviser.
Lisa is buying four newspapers.
  en avis
a newspaper

Let’s repeat again and take note of the pronunciation of kj.

Kjøpe. Lise kjøper fire aviser.

Hun er veldig sjalu.
She is very jealous.

Let’s repeat it together and take note of the pronunciation of sj: sjalu.

Sjalu. Hun er veldig sjalu.

  en sjokolade
Vi liker varm sjokolade.
We like warm chocolate.

Let’s repeat this delicious sentence together. Let’s pronounce the vowels of sjokolade long: Vi liker varm sjokolade.

Sjokolade. Vi liker varm sjokolade.

  å gjøre
to act, to do
Vi gjør hjemmelekser.
We are doing homework.

Let’s repeat and remember the pronunciation of the verb gjør: Vi gjør hjemmelekser.

Fint! La oss fortsette – let’s continue.

  en kiosk
Vi går i kiosken.
We are going to a kiosk.

Attention! When saying ‘to a kiosk’, we will use the preposition i – i kiosken. Let’s repeat the sentence and take note of the pronuciation of kiosk: Vi går i kiosken.

Kiosk. Vi går i kiosken.

I want to tell you more about the word kiosk. In Norway, stores are closed on Sundays. You may ask where could you buy milk in Norway, if it is not in the fridge on Sunday morning when you’re making coffee. The answer is the gas stations. In Norwegian:

  en bensinstasjon
gas station
In gas stations

On Sundays, everyday goods are also available in kiosks:

  en kiosk
a kiosk
  på kiosker
in kiosks

Let’s continue with lesson eleven, leksjon nummer elleve. Let’s repeat what we have learnt in the last lesson. We talked about ordstilling in direct main sentences, remember?

Attention! We will say a sentence in Norwegian. You have to say whether the word order is correct. If it is, say aloud: riktig – right. Let’s repeat: riktig, riktig. If you hear that the word order in a sentence is not correct – say ‘incorrect’. How would you say it? With ikke?

Yes, ikke riktig. Ikke riktig.

As usual, after a pause I will help you check the correct answer. If the word order in a sentence is not correct, let’s say it right together.

Jeg bør snakke høyt.

What do you think? Riktig or ikke riktig? Of course, riktig! Subject + predicate 1 predicate 2 + adverb.

I dag jeg skal kjøpe mat.

What do you think? Is it riktig? Nei nei nei. Ikke riktig! We start a sentence with a time clause, not a subject. Therefore, afterwards we must say skal, in this case, the first word of the predicate, then the second word of the predicate kjøpe. Let’s correct the incorrect sentence. What is the right translation for ‘I will buy food today?”

Remember that if a sentence is not started by a subject, it must raise a red flag indicating that next must be the predicate or the first word of the predicate, then the subject and the second word of the predicate.

Let’s continue.

Dere ikke kommer nå.

How do you like this sentence? I hope you said ‘ikke riktig’. The place of ikke in the main sentence is not after dere, but after kommer, right? The correct version:

Dere kommer ikke nå.

And the last sentence for us to practice:

Nå kommer han ikke.

What are you saying? I cannot hear you. Riktig? Ikke riktig? Listen once again: Nå kommer han ikke.

Ja, den er riktig. Yes, the sentence is correct.

If the main negative sentence is started with a time clause, the words will be arranged as follows: time clause + first word of the predicate + subject + ikke. Nå kommer han ikke.
  • - Jan, hva med ordstillingen i spørresetninger?

Ema is asking about word order in questions – spørresetninger. We have talked about it in our first lessons. But we will soon find out whether our students have learnt it. First I will tell you the theory and then we will do the tasks.

In Norwegian, there are two types of questions:

Hv- questions (or open-ended questions) started with the interrogative phrase (they are most often started with lettes hv-, thus the name).

For example:

Hva skal du gjøre nå?
What will you do now?
Hvor er Lise?
Where is Lisa?

In these questions, the question word comes first:

what, who
  hvor mye
how much (used with uncountable nouns)
  hvor mange
how many (use with countable nouns)
  hvor gammel
how old

And other questions that can be found in our first class. What is in the second place of a sentence? Predicate, of course, or the first verb of the predicate. Let’s remember that a predicate may be comprised of more than one word, e.g. gjøre, and two words – skal gjøre. Then comes the subject and afterwards, the second word of the predicate or other parts of the sentence.

For example:

Hvor kan jeg kjøpe frimerker?
Where can I buy post stamps?
  et frimerke
post stamp
post stamps

I forgot to mention that Ema and I have visited a post office. In Norwegian:

A post, post office is   en post or   et postkontor.

I will be able to buy post stamps - Jeg kan kjøpe frimerker. Jeg kan kjøpe frimerker. And now we will practice creating hv-questions. First, listen to the dialogue between me and a postal worker. Learn it. This dialogue may help you not only in a post office, but also when shopping in a store and other places.

  • - God dag.
  • - God dag.
  • - Har dere frimerker? / Do you have post stamps?
  • - Ja, vi har frimerker. / Yes, we have post stamps.
  • - Jeg vil ha tre frimerker. / I want three post stamps.

Attention! Word for word: I want to have – jeg vil ha. This phrase may also be used when buying other things.

jeg vil ha frimerker or jeg vil ha et brød - I want bread, etc.

  • - Hva koster tre frimerker? Hva koster...? / How much do three post stamps cost?
  • - Tre frimerker koster tjueåtte kroner og femti øre. / Three post stamps cost 28 crones and 50 eres.
  • - Javel. Jeg vil ha tre frimerker. / I want three post stamps.
  • - Vær så god. / Here you go.
  • - Ja, og jeg vil ha et postkort. / I also want one postcard.
    Hvor mye koster et postkort? /How much is a postcard?

To ask about the price you may say hva koster or hvor mye koster...?

  • -Et postkort koster tjue kroner. / The postcard is 20 crones.
  • - Jeg vil ha tre frimerker og et postkort. / I want 3 post stamps and one postcard.
    Hvor mye blir det? / How much does it cost?
  • - Det blir førtiåtte kroner og femti øre. / In total, it will be 48 crones and 50 eres.
    Vær så god. / Here you go.
  • - Takk skal du ha. / Thank you. Ha det bra.
  • - Ha det godt.

Jan and post office worker said goodbye. I wonder who Jan will send the postcard to.

Let’s listen to the dialogue once again. Take note of the ordstilling – order of words in questions.

  • - God dag.
  • - God dag.
  • - Har dere frimerker?
  • - Ja, vi har frimerker.
  • - Jeg vil ha tre frimerker.
  • - Hva koster tre frimerker? Hva koster...?
  • - Tre frimerker koster tjueåtte kroner og femti øre.
  • - Javel. Jeg vil ha tre frimerker.
  • - Vær så god.
  • - Ja, og jeg vil ha et postkort. Hvor mye koster et postkort?
  • -Et postkort koster tjue kroner.
  • - Jeg vil ha tre frimerker og et postkort. Hvor mye blir det?
  • - Det blir førtiåtte kroner og femti øre. Vær så god.
  • - Takk skal du ha. Ha det bra.
  • - Ha det godt.

Let’s practive hv-questions. I will say a sentence and you will create a question with the interrogative word that you’ve heard. We will check the correct answer together.

Jan er på postkontoret.
Jan is in the post office.
Hvor er Jan?
Jan er på postkontoret.

Let’s make another question.

Jan kjøper frimerker.
Jan is buying post stamps.
Hva kjøper Jan?
Jan kjøper tre frimerker.
Jan is buying three post stamps.
Hvor mange?
How many?
Hvor mange frimerker kjøper Jan?

Et frimerke – post stamp – is a countable noun and therefore, we ask: hvor mange? What words would we use with uncountable nouns? Hvor mye.

Hvor mange frimerker – an interogative phrase at the beginning of the question, then the predicate kjøper and subject Jan.

Are you tired? A couple more questions, ok?

Et postkort koster tjue kroner.
A postcard costs 20 crones.

Ask what one postcard costs.

Hva koster et postkort?
Hvor mye koster et postkort?

Great! Together we managed to overcome the task. Time to relax with “Fakta om Norge”. As you know, Norway is not a member of the EU. The Norwegians have twice rejected the chance to join it by referendum. The paradox is that, despite the fact, the country has implemented more EU directives than some of the member states of EU.

Here are some geographical facts that are not only interesting to hear, but also useful: the highest mountain in Norway is Galdhøpiggen – around 2,469 m high and the longest River is Glomma, 623 km long.

Let’s return to the order of words in questions. We have discussed the ordstilling of open-ended questions hv-.

As we remember from our first class, Norwegian does not have the word ‘whether’. Yes/no questions (or closed-ended questions) are started with the predicate:
Do you live in Oslo?
Bor du i Oslo?
If the predicate is comprised of two verbs, we will start the question with the first one, for example:
Can I read books?
Kan jeg lese bøker?
Can you speak loud?
Kan du snakke høyt?

Let’s practice making closed-ended questions, and remember the word order in them. I will say a sentence and you will make a question for the sentence. First, I will help you and later on I will help you check whether you had done the task correct.

Ema kommer fra Tyskland.
Ema is from Germany.

Making a question: is Ema from Gemany? I place the predicate in position one: Kommer Ema fra Germany?

Try it now.

Jan kjøper et postkort.
Jan is buying a postcard.

Make a question. Is Jan buying a postcard?

Did you ask: Kjøper Jan et postkort?

Now ask: is Jan buying a post stamp? Kjøper Jan et frimerke?

Let’s continue. Listen to what I say and ask a closed-ended yes/no question:

Jan er på postkontoret.
Jan is in the post office.

Ask a question. Er Jan på postkontoret?

Jan sender et postkort.
Jan is sending a postcard
  å sende
to send
  å sende et postkort
to send a postcard

Create a closed-ended yes/no question. We are waiting. Sender Jan et postkort?

We still have to learn about creating questions with a negation. How will we ask: isn’t he coming now? the predicate comes first + subject + clause + other parts of a sentence. Kommer han ikke nå?

Let’s practice creating questions with negation ikke. I will say it in English, together we will try to translate:

Don’t we eat dinner?
Spiser vi ikke middag?

Yes, right. Spiser vi ikke middag?

Isn’t Jan buying a postcard?
Kjøper ikke Jan et postkort?
Don’t you like apples?
Liker du ikke epler?
We remember that a predicate may be comprised of two words, for example: skal gå – I will go, you will go, etc., må gå – I must go, you must go, etc. What will the questions with ikke sound like?
Sentence structure: predicate 1 + subject + clause + predicate 2 + other parts of the sentence.

Let’s listen to an example: Skal du ikke gå på skolen?

We see that at the start of the question we have the modal verb, in this case – skal, then the subject – du, third comes ikke, then predicate 2 – , and the clause på skolen.

Another example: Må du ikke kjøre sakte?

Kjøre sakte
drive slow
Må du ikke kjøre sakte?
Mustn’t you drive slow?

Ordstilling rules are much easier to learn using my very favorite method of cards, which I have already offered you. As you see, word order, both in direct sentences and questions is strict. Write down the parts of a sentence on a card: subject, predicate, object, clauses and depending on the type of sentence, create the sentences.

At the end of the lesson I will give you hjemmelekser – homework – learn the words you may need in a post office. Do you remember the Norwegian words for post stamp and postcard? Et frimerke, et postkort. Let’s learn more words, let’s repeat together:

  et brev
a letter
  å sende et brev
to send a letter
  et hovedpostkontor
central post office
  gå på posten
go to the post office
  gå på postkontoret
go to the post office
  en flypost
air mail
  en luftpost
air mail
  å sende med posten
to send by mail
  å sende i posten
to send by mail
  ei en postkasse
  en postboks
subscriber’s mailbox
  en postmann
a postman

Now we have to end todays lesson. I will tell you a secret: in lesson twelve I will be writing a postcard to Lisa and you will help me. And now we say goodbye to you, ha det bra, have a nice day: ha en fin dag! :) See you in the next lesson.

  • - Ha det godt alle sammen, vi høres neste gang!