Norwegian: det å bli

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by soldeace, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. soldeace New Member


    Google Translate suggests that "det å bli" means "to get" (like "det å bli bedre"), but I thought it would sound better as "å få" ("å få bedre"). What's the basic difference between them and how should I use them?

    Thanks :)
  2. NorwegianNYC

    NorwegianNYC Senior Member

    New York, NY, USA
    You will have to provide a little more context
  3. lairthenair New Member

    Stavanger, Norway
    The Norwegian Å få is similar to the English To receive - except for in some cases (Å få en sykdom = To contract a disease) - so you can't translate it literally. Å få bedre = To receive better, as in I deserve (to receive) better treatment. That being said, there are expressions that uses det after å få (Å få det bedre = to get better), in which det refers to the situation one's currently in.

    I'm not sure if this is 100% accurate, but I hope that it gives you an idea of the problem, and maybe someone else can elaborate or correct me.
  4. raumar Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Iarthenair has explained "å få" well, but it may be useful to try to explain "å bli" as well. Even though "å bli bedre" is a correct translation of "to get better", it would be misleading to say that "å bli" generally means "to get".

    The basic meaning of "å bli" is "to become", for example "å bli lærer" (to become a teacher). In some cases, "bli" is translated as "get", for example "å bli rik" (to get rich). But in this case, the basic meaning is still "to become" (you could also say "to become rich").

    "Å bli" can in some cases also mean "to stay/remain", as in "jeg blir hjemme i dag" (I'll stay ay home today) -- but that is a completely different meaning of the word.

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