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  5. "Forbi" vs "Bortenfor"


"Forbi" vs "Bortenfor"

Both mean beyond/past. Are they synonyms? Can they be used interchangeably or is there a specific use?


December 7, 2016



Forbi means past, as in "Toget gikk forbi huset."

Bortenfor is better translated as beyond (a long way past, further than forbi)- "Huset ligger bortenfor skogen."


Forbi means that something has passed a certain point, infinitely. "Han gikk forbi huset" - He went past the house.

Bortenfor means past a certain point, but it is also aiming to a certain point past the point, finitely. "Han står bortenfor huset" - He's standing just past the house.


Would it be fair to say that "bortenfor" would be used when comparing the location of two things ('He' and 'the house' in your example) and "forbi" is used otherwise?


I'd say so, yes. Bortenfor can be used in situation where you imply a specified place, object, or mark of significance, past an certain object. Forbi is mostly, if not exlusively, used with movement.

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