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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adrian442793

Verbs ending in -a in the infinitive

I've noticed that there are some Bokmal verbs that end in -a in the infinitive rather than the expected -e. For instance:

  • "bidra", to contribute
  • "bla", to browse (as in to browse Språkrådet's database of questions)
  • “delta”, to share, participate
  • "gjenta", to repeat (useful in the sentence, "Kan du gjenta det langsommere takk" (thanks Lonely Planet))
  • “godta”, to accept, approve, acknowledge
  • “motta”, to receive
  • “unngå”, to avoid
  • “vedta”, vote, pass, accept, adopt

I was wondering if there are other common -a verbs that learners should be alerted to. Also... is there any interesting etymological story behind these verbs?

April 30, 2019

5 Comments

Sorted by top post

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stoopher

gjenta is ta with a prefix (that I'd assumed, or possibly read, is igjen with the i dropped). So: "to again-take".

May 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fveldig
Mod
  • 15

Similarly, 'bidra' is 'dra' with a prefix.

Other -a infinitives: ha, kna, la, spa,


There is a small typo in the question; it should be either "bokmål" or "bokmaal".

May 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adrian442793

Thanks fveldig!

Yep, there's typos in pretty much every post I've written in this forum. Have to confess I'm too lazy to use a Norwegian keyboard most of the time, though there are sites like https://www.branah.com/norwegian that can help.

May 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fveldig
Mod
  • 15

It's common to write 'ae', 'oe', and 'aa' when using keyboards without 'æ', 'ø', 'å' :)

May 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stoopher

Does Duo accept these substitutions in answers? For example, can I type "foerst" rather than "først"?

I think I tried this in the past (because the German course usually accepts similar substitutions), and found the answer was "not really". Sometimes I would get away with it because Duo saw the substitution as a typo, which it let pass with a "you have a typo" comment.

May 1, 2019
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