"Are you reading a book?"
Translation:Leser du en bok?
Why is it sometimes the verb comes after the pronoun but other times it comes before?
In this case it's because to form a question, you put the verb at the first position. But Norwegian doesn't have a strict ordering of the subject and object. "Jeg leser boka" and "Boka leser jeg" are both fine, just as long as the verb is at the second position.
So for a question, the verb is first, but for a statement, the verb comes after? Is that right? I thought before that it depended on if the pronoun was definite or indefinite, but I still keep having problems with verb placement.
The verb is usually at the second position. There is no definite form of pronouns.
I misread the hints section. Regardless of that, when I started putting the verb first in questions and second in statements, I began getting the problems right. I was, previously, ALWAYS putting the verb second, as one would do in English. Which is probably half the problem. It is not engelsk, but norsk. Follow up question, why are the languages themselves not capitalized?
If you can inflect it, it's not a proper noun, and thus can't be capitalized.
"Fransken min er dårlig."
I said " Er du leser en bok", with the verb second, and it told me I was wrong. Can you please help me understand?
Like fveldig has said, you should put the verb before the subject in a question.
Norwegian doesn't use
er as an auxiliary verb for expressing the continuous present, unlike the English BE (i.e., "is/am/are VERBing").
Present-tense verbs like
leser actually cover both the English simple (e.g., "read(s)") and continuous present (e.g., "is/am/are reading").
This means that you can omit
er and translate the question simply as:
Leser du en bok?
Do you have to include "du" in this sentence for it to make sense that the question asking "you" ? Or does leser en bok make sense?
Yes, you have to include du in this sentence, because 'Leser en bok' would translate to 'Reading a book', while 'leser du en bok' adds the word 'you' in it for the question 'are you reading a book'.
The reason 'er du leser en bok' doesn't work is because you're not to use 'er du', but you're supposed to use 'leser du' because 'er du' is grammatically incorrect.