All this takes us back to the future. Why? Because the future tense in
Norwegian, as in English, is formed by combining verbs.
In English we
I am going to eat fish.
I will eat fish.
The two mean almost the same, and they both refer to the future. As
you can observe, in the first case we have a normal verb combination
consisting of a verb in present tense ("am") and a verb in infinitive
with its infinitive marker ("to eat"). This means that the main verb,
"eat", is something that is going to happen in the future. In the second
example, we have a modal verb, "will", plus the main verb, "eat", this
time without the infinitive marker, just because the verb is
In Norwegian there is a special modal verb for the future tense:
This one is used when we're talking about something that is decided
to happen, i.e. that we, or someone else, can kind of control it.
I am going to eat fish. = Jeg skal spise fisk.
They are going to play football. = De skal spille fotball.
You are going to read. = Du skal lese.
We are going
to watch a film. = Vi skal se en film.
Or "skal" can even
be used without a second verb, which implies traveling:
We are going to Norway. = Vi skal
Now, if the future
happening is something more involuntary or less controlled, "skal" can't
be used, and we need to use a different
strategy in Norwegian. Examples of this are phrases like:
You will love this fish.
These are things
that will just happen, with less planning.
On the next page, we'll see how to express
this. Meanwhile, learn these few words: