Icelandic: fara(go)

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by nevaehiceland, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. nevaehiceland

    nevaehiceland New Member

    When I learned the conjugation of fara(go) in the present tense in icelandionline, I felt a bit confused.

    in this example: Þau fara á undan.( they go ahead?) Is that right to use fara after þeir, þau, þær in the present tense?

    P.S. I am just a newcomer in Icelandic learning (I've applied Icelandic as A Second Language in the University of Iceland) and also in the amazing forum. So plz don't laugh at me if I will ever ask some silly questions.:)
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  2. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Welcome! I know a lot of people who take that course, I almost applied for it myself before I got onto another degree programme here. Never be afraid to ask a stupid question (the forum is full of my silly questions from 4-5 years ago when I first started learning).
    Yes, 'fara' is the infinitive and the infinitive is the same as the 3rd person plural tense for (edit: almost) all verbs.

    Að borða - to eat
    Þeir borða - they eat
    Þær borða - they eat (two or more females)
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  3. Tjahzi

    Tjahzi Senior Member

    Umeå, Sweden
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    ...except for vera. :p
  4. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Yes! The obvious ones always hide in plain sight! :p
  5. nevaehiceland

    nevaehiceland New Member

    Thank you for your answer! Takk fyrir!:) I'm so glad I've found this forum! So useful! How long have you learned Icelandic? Also, are you a student in H.Í currently( I just noticed that your location is Reyjavík)? Did you find it is hard to master Icelandic as a native speaker of English?

    I still have some questions if you don't mind me to ask you.
    1) How to tell the gender of a noun and a verb in Icelandic? Is that true the words end with -inn are masculine, -in are feminine and -(i)ð are neuter?

    2) I found it is hard to pronounce ''líka(also/too)'' and ''líkar (like?)'' differently. Do you have any good ideas?

    Others are also very welcome to answer my questions.:)
  6. Daniel20 Junior Member

    Oh my, questions I can answer!

    1) You have that slightly mixed up. What you say are the definite articles ('the'). In the nominative singular form, the masculine endings for nouns are: -ur, -i, -ll, -nn. The feminine ending is usually -a, or they have no ending. Neuter nouns usually have no ending, whilst if it ends in an accented vowel it is usually neuter (consider bakarí).

    As I said, what you have said is the definite article, and you're right that masculine nouns take -(i)nn; feminine nouns take -(i)n; and neuter nouns take (i)ð. Using clothing to help vocabulary (and I'm also learning them now), you can see that:

    Bolur- A top
    Bolurinn- The top

    Kápa - A coat
    Kápan - The coat

    Pils - A skirt
    Pils- The Skirt

    Bolur is masculine; kápa is feminine; pils is neuter. It is very important to remember the gender of nouns and to tell them quickly. I've also used ones that are slightly more simple - you just add -inn, -in, or -ið. But if it ends in an unaccented vowel, you do not add the (i), but just the -nn, -n, or -ð. For example: lampi = lampinn.

    Although you don't need to know yet, you should be aware that these are strictly in the nominative singular, and the noun changes to reflect the different cases and singular/plural (like English adds 's'). For example, the nominative plural with the definite article of kápa is kápurnar. Don't think about this too much - it might be overwhelming (it was for me) - but I also got frustrated when I would come across a new rule that really surprised me. So, be aware that you might find these changes, but you don't need to learn them yet.

    As for verbs, they do not take a gender like nouns. But they do conjugate (i.e their form changes) depending on how they are used. I will let Alex or someone else explain these as whilst I feel confident with them myself, I don't feel like I could explain them well, and a bad explanation is worse than no explanation!

    2) It is hard to pronounce those, but the difference in sound is the rolled R at the end. If you compare the difference in sounds on this website, it should become clear:íka/is/ for Líkaíkar/ for Líkar (unfortunately, only in a phrase, but you might still be able to hear it).
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  7. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Go to this site and in the box, type in what you want to hear and select the voice 'Dóra' (she's generally considered to be the better voice). It's automatic speech synthesis but the company, IVONA, really did a top-notch job in putting this tool together, hiring voice actors and having hours and hours of training data. The results are great and they're in the process of upgrading it to an even higher standard in the coming months. You can put líka and líkar in there individually, or in a longer sentence, to hear the difference and practice trying to say it as well.
  8. nevaehiceland

    nevaehiceland New Member

    OHHH, thank you tow so much for sharing that sites and answering!!! I found it is definitely useful! Hum... I think we can tell líka and líkar by the sentence/context. They sound so similar when one speak Icelandic fast.

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