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  5. Den framtidige strukturen "vi…


Den framtidige strukturen "vil" og den ønskende strukuren "vil"

Hvordan kan man skille mellom dem? Jeg snakka med venninna mi (som lærer norsk også) og jeg fortalte henne "Jeg vil bli vegetarianer." Jeg mente at jeg ønsker meg å bli vegetarianer, men hun tolka det å mene at jeg skal bli vegetarianer. Når bruker man ordet "vil", hvordan kan man skille mellom disse to betygninger?

Tusen takk! (Også: noen korreksjon til min skriving ville verdsettes. Takk!)

July 22, 2015


  • 325

Hvordan kan man skille mellom [dem/disse]? Jeg [snakket/snakka] med [venninnen/venninna] mi (som også lærer norsk og fortalte henne [/at] "Jeg vil bli vegetarianer". Jeg mente at jeg [ønsker/har lyst til å] bli vegetarianer, men hun [forsto/forstod] det slik at jeg [skal/kommer til å] bli vegetarianer. Når bruker man ordet 'vil', og hvordan kan man skille mellom disse [/to] betydningene.

Tusen takk! (PS: Korrekturlesing av teksten min verdsettes. Takk!)

Using "vil" referring to the future sounds very formal to me and I can only think of a few cases where it would be used to mean that, like "Det vil bli gjort" = "It will be done". Your sentence would almost exclusively be used to mean "I want to become a vegetarian". But as Luke said, "Jeg har lyst til å bli vegetarianer" might be better if you want to avoid confusion.


Thank you for your revision--that is very helpful to me! Could you explain when to use "ønsker" and "ønsker meg/seg/deg/etc."?

And thank you also for your explanation of formality, which helps to clear the ambiguity I was struggling with.

Tusen takk!

  • 325

I'm not sure if 'formal' is correct, but it does sound old fashioned, at least to my ears.

'å ønske seg' is used for a thing you'd like as a present (for your birthday or Christmas). "Jeg ønsker meg en gyngehest" = "I wish for a rocking horse". Otherwise I'd use 'å ønske'. "Jeg ønsker ikke å delta" = "I don't wish to participate".


Oh, I see--so the 'seg is function as a reflective dative or something of that sort, wishing something for oneself or to oneself. That makes a lot of sense.


This is a quite difficult question, and in many cases you’ll just have to determine by context what is meant. However, there are some guidelines. The main thing to notice is that in many cases one of the two interpretations simply doesn’t make sense, and in those cases, obviously, the other interpretation is correct. Other than that:

If the subject is first or third person (jeg/vi/han/hun/de) the default interpretation is want to.

“Jeg vil bli vegetarianer” = “I want to become a vegetarian”

“Han vil ha jobben” = “He wants (to have) the job”

The exception is when it is implied that the subject can’t really affect the action:

“Han vil få jobben” = “He will get the job”

“Jeg vil ikke overleve to år til med kjemi” = “I won’t survive another two years of chemistry”

“Hvis jeg drar nå, vil jeg komme fram klokka fem.” = “If I leave now, I will arrive at five o’clock”.

“Jeg vil savne deg” = “I will miss you”

But often both interpretations are possible:

“Han vil vinne” can either mean “He wants to win”, but it could also mean “He will win”, if the speaker is confident about the result.

If the subject is second person (du/dere) vil almost never means want to. The exception is when it is clear that you are talking about a desire the subject has expressed:

“Så du vil altså bli vegetarianer.” = “So you want to become a vegetarian.”

If the subject is incapable of volition, then vil obviously can’t mean want to:

“Brevet vil komme fram i morgen.” = ”The letter will arrive tomorrow.”

(In this case, using skal would mean that the letter is supposed to arrive tomorrow, but using vil expresses more confidence that it will actually arrive.)


This is extraordinarily helpful. Many thanks!


Plagiarizing from myself here:

There is no direct translation of "will" in Norwegian. Whether "vil" means "will" or "wants to" depends on context, but when used like the future tense, it's generally something the subject wants to do and looks forward to. "Skal" has the connotation that the subject will perform the action irrespective of whether or not he or she wants to. "Kommer til å" is another phrase that translates roughly to "going to," with a similar meaning to the English phrase. Additionally, one can use the present tense in Norwegian to signify the future, much like in the English phrase, "I am walking to school tomorrow."


I'm aware of these things. I suppose what I'm trying to ask is in a situation where there isn't a whole lot of context (like stating "I want to be vegetarian"), what one would do to clarify the fact that you are stating an act of will/desire and not of future orientation. Is it best then to just elect to use a different phrasing (like ønske) altogether?


If you don't want to imply the future at all, I would suggest saying, Jeg "ønsker" eller "har lyst til" å bli vegetarianer.


That makes sense. Takk!

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