Norwegian: hører til [separable verb]

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Utopian Universe, Jul 9, 2018.

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  1. Utopian Universe

    Utopian Universe Member

    Florida
    English
    I came across these two seemingly conflicting sentences:

    1. Det hører fortiden til.
    2. Fremtiden hører til barna.
    My question is how come in the 1st sentence til is separated and placed all the way at the end, whereas in the 2nd sentence it's placed right after hører?
     
  2. P2Grafn0l Senior Member

    It could be wrong, but I think it's just a different way (or perhaps an older way) of saying: Det hører til fortiden.

    Det hører til fortiden. = It belongs to the past.
    Det hører fortiden til. = It belongs unto the past.

    Can anyone confirm this?
     
  3. raumar Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Norwegian
    That's right. The usual word order is "Det hører til fortiden" or "Det tilhører fortiden". The word order "Det hører fortiden til" looks more old-fashioned, or maybe solemn or literary. It has survived as a set phrase. The meaning of those sentences may be closer to "That's a matter of the past".
     
  4. P2Grafn0l Senior Member

    Thanks for your confirmation, Raumar. :thumbsup::)
     
  5. Utopian Universe

    Utopian Universe Member

    Florida
    English
    Fair enough :thumbsup: So I take it the til then would not (normally) be separated from the main verb and be placed at the very end, more like the construction of separable verbs in, say, German?

    And does the position of the verb's prefix affect the idiomaticness of the sentence? i.e. Is "Det hører til fortiden" OR "Det tilhører fortiden" more idiomatic?

    Thanks a lot! :)
     
  6. raumar Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Norwegian
    Yes, it would look more German than Norwegian in most sentences.

    That's a good question. I would say that both alternatives work in this specific sentence, but in other contexts you have to use one of them. I have not really thought this through, but I think you only should use "tilhøre" when you say "belong to" in English. For example:
    It belongs to me - Den/det tilhører meg.

    For "belong" without "to", you should use "høre til". For example: I don't belong here - Jeg hører ikke til her.
     
  7. Utopian Universe

    Utopian Universe Member

    Florida
    English
    So given the similarity to German in this context, the first sentence in the original post would then be correct. But in your first post you stated that Det hører til fortiden or Det tilhører fortiden would be the usual word order, yet neither one places til at the end like German does :confused:
     
  8. raumar Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Norwegian
    I have probably not expressed myself clearly. What I meant to say, was: Yes, you're right about this:
    In most Norwegian sentences, the "German" word order with the preposition at the end is incorrect. But in a few set phrases, such as the first sentence in post #1, the "German" word order is OK.
     
  9. Utopian Universe

    Utopian Universe Member

    Florida
    English
    Understood :thumbsup:
     

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