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Lesson 4 - 2

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You know what that verb form in the header is called? Imperative. It's the form (or mode) you use when you tell someone to do something. In English, this guy is a bit hard to spot, because there's no obvious difference between the present tense and the imperative mode. Look at this and you'll understand the problem:

Present Imperative
I eat fish. Eat fish!
You come here every day. Come here every day!
I don't speak Norwegian. Don't speak Norwegian!
I'm sure you're going to learn this. Learn this!

So in English, the present tense and the imperative look the same. In Norwegian they don't.

As you should have noticed, all Norwegian verbs in infinitive end with a vowel (turn back one page if you haven't noticed). This vowel is always -e, as long as the word consists of more than one syllable. One-syllabled words can end with any vowel.

The rule to form the imperative in Norwegian is:

  1. If the verb consists of more than one syllable, remove the last -e.
  2. If the verb consists of only one syllable, do nothing.

Easy! That means the imperative form

of the verb å lære is...


And the imperative of the verb å se ("to see") is...


To make it negative, put ikke in front of the verb:

Don't speak English! = Ikke snakk engelsk!

Don't see! = Ikke se!

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