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  5. "Det er altfor vanskelig å be…

"Det er altfor vanskelig å bestemme seg."

Translation:It is far too difficult to decide.

June 28, 2015



Why is there seg on the end?

  • 241

"å bestemme seg" = "to decide"

This is a reflexive verb in Norwegian.


what does that mean? Do you have to have the seg so that there's something to do the deciding?

  • 241

It's a part of the verb. "Han bestemmer seg" would literally translate to "He decides himself" in English, but while this is the wrong way to say it in English, this is the correct way to say it in Norwegian.

Just remember that seg' might change depending on the subject: "Jeg bestemmer meg for å fiske." = "I decide to go fishing."


so, the same rule as ''har pa meg/seg''.


Yeah, think of "Jeg har på meg hansker" as "I have on myself gloves" ;).


So, if this were the imperative form, and you were telling someone to decide, it would be "du bestem seg" instead of just "du bestem"?

  • 241

It would be "Bestem deg."


Okay, that makes sense. Thank you!


Er det en forskjell mellom "beslutte" og "bestemme"?

  • 2263

They can be interchangeable at times, but as I understand it, 'å beslutte' is more formal, e.g., a judge makes a decision.
'Å bestemme (seg)' is similar to "making up one's mind," e.g., what to make for dinner, whether to accept an invitation.


Why "it is too difficult" is not acceptable? "altfor" translates to "too", why there must be a "way too difficult"?


The alt prefix is an intensifier. If you wanted to say it is too difficult, that would be for vanskelig. But altfor vanskelig means that it is MUCH too difficult, FAR too difficult, WAY too difficult.


I always struggle with this, too. The thing to remember here is that too = for, and the intensified form far too = altfor.


It might be a bit pedantic to insist on the difference, but I guess duo lingo wants to make a point about the difference between altfor and simply for.


Plutselig, jeg kan ikke huske eller forstå regelen: Hvorfor er det ingen "for" foran infinitiven? Det er altfor vanskelig FOR å bestemme seg.


for å is like in order to, e.g. Han kommer hit for å drikke vin. - He comes here [in order] to drink wine. It wouldn't make sense in this sentence, so it's left out.


If I understand correctly; would the use of "seg" (without a pronoun preceding it such as han or hun) equate to talking about oneself in the third-person or in a way that doesn't explicitly refer to one's self as the subject? Just in the same way that in English you don't constantly refer to yourself explicitly in every single sentence that talks about actions or thoughts that you (yourself) are doing or thinking.

If the above is true, would the sentence translate as: "It is far too difficult for one to decide"? If one were to be literal about it.

I must stress that a word for word translation is not what I'm looking, rather the concept that it is expressing.


I would say, not quite. You normally use this phrasing when you want to talk generally, and not imply any person. It could maybe be used in the way you describe, but it could equally be used when talking about the person you are talking to. For instance "Jeg forstår det er vanskelig å bestemme seg, men du har ikke mye tid igjen nå", meaning "I understand that it is difficult to decide, but you don't have much time left now". Here you refer to the person you are talking to with the "seg" pronoun.

But it is important to remember that there are only a limited number of verbs that can be used with such a pattern, allbeit not that limited. It's actually relatively common. "Å bestemme seg/meg/deg" is a phrasal verb meaning "to make up ...'s mind". Other verbs that use the same pattern are for example "å skjære seg", "å skynde seg", å "glemme seg", "å prøve seg", and quite a number of others.

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