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Lesson Four

1. Accusative. Strong declension.

So far we have been dealing with the initial form of nouns which is called the nominative case. In Nynorn there are three additional cases. One of them is called the accusative. The accusative case is used for the object of verbs and with a number of prepositions.

The difference between nominative and accusative can be rather difficult to grasp for those whose native language is English. There are several tips you can follow in order to distinguish between the cases: the subject is normally in the nominative (the acting body), the object of the action is normally in the accusative (the patient). There is a golden rule: normally there would not be two nominatives within the same phrase (the main exception being the verbs like 'to be', 'become', 'be called/named', 'is like' and similar).

In fact, English is not totally free of cases - they are still used with the personal pronouns I, he, she, we, they (corresponds to nominative), which change to me, him, her, us, them (in our case corresponds to accusative) respectively. So if you are in doubt as to which case, nominative or accusative to use in a given situation, you can check it by replacing the substantive with a personal pronoun instead. Say, we are dealing with the sentence A dog is biting a man. Which case(s) would a dog and a man have in Nynorn? Replace a dog with I and a man with he and you will get I am biting him. The unchanged pronoun (I, he) corresponds to nominative, the changed (me, him) refers to accusative (at least in this particular case). Hence a dog will have nominative and a man - accusative.

See also our brief introduction to the case system:

In the strong declension, accusative (A) is the same as nominative (N) except for the plural of masculine. The first masculine class (pl. -ar) has the ending -a in accusative plural, while the second masculine class (pl. -er) takes the ending -i:



M. N hest - A hest, N fjord - A fjord

N hestar - A hesta, N fjorder - A fjordi

F. N ferd - A ferd, N kerling - A kerling

N ferder - A ferder, N kerlingar - A kerlingar

N. N kast - A kast

N kast - A kast

Exercise 4.1.
Change the following words to the nominative and accusative of plural:

dag 'day' (MS1), toft 'thwart; ruin' (FS2), fjord 'fjord' (MS2), hus 'house' (NS), rug 'heap' (FS1), fisk 'fish' (MS1), sild 'herring' (FS2), rum 'space; room' (NS), sta? 'place' (MS2), mess 'mass' (FS1).


2. Prepositions with accusative

å 'onto'
i 'into'
veð 'close to, near'
um 'about'

i hus 'into a house/into houses', um Hjetland 'about Shetland', å hesta 'onto horses', veð fjord 'near a fjord', veð fjordi 'near fjords'.

Exercise 4.2.
Translate the following phrases into Nynorn using the words from the preceding lessons:

close to ruins, about horses, near Shetland, into houses, onto heaps


3. Verbs. Present tense. Strong declension.

Like substantives, verbs in Nynorn are divided into strong and weak, depending on how they form their past tense. Strong verbs roughly correspond to English irregular verbs (like bite-bit-bitten, stand-stood-stood), while weak verbs are reminiscent of English regular verbs, which form their past by adding -ed.

In this lesson we will show how strong verbs form their present. The present tense in Nynorn corresponds both to English present simple (I go) and present progressive (I'm going). The endings are as follows:

eg - (zero) vi -a
du -er di -a
hann,hun,dað -er dir,der,de -a

As in Faroese, the plural of the present tense looks the same as the infinitive. Further on, we are going only to give one form for plural:

at bita 'to bite':
eg bit 'I bite'
du biter
hann biter
vi bita

Verbs with radical -a- and -o- (i.e. with a or o in the root) change the vowel to -e- in singular forms:

at standa 'to stand', at koma 'to come':
eg stend, kem
du stender, kemer
hann stender, kemer
vi standa,koma

Several verbs conjugate irregularly, e.g., at sjå 'to see':

eg se
du ser
hann ser
vi sjå

At vara and at heda from Lesson Three belong to the strong verbs too, albeit having some irregularities.

Exercise 4.3.
Conjugate the following strong verbs in the singular:

skina 'to shine', taga 'to take', sita 'to sit', sjå 'to see', halda 'to hold', koma 'to come', lega 'to play', ligga 'to lie', ganga 'to go', geva 'to give', finna 'to find'

Exercise 4.4.
Translate the following phrases:

I'm seeing horses. She is going into a house. We are sitting near a heap. A dog is biting fishes. Old women find children.


Discuss this lesson on the forum


Lesson Three Contents Lesson Five



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