Norwegian: hører til [separable verb]

Utopian Universe

Banned
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?
 
  • raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    I think it's just a different way (or perhaps an older way) of saying: Det hører til fortiden

    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".
     

    Utopian Universe

    Banned
    English
    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".

    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! :)
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    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?

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

    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?

    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.
     

    Utopian Universe

    Banned
    English
    Yes, it would look more German than Norwegian in most sentences.

    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:
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    I have probably not expressed myself clearly. What I meant to say, was: Yes, you're right about this:
    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?

    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.
     

    PoulBA

    Member
    Danish
    tilhøre - bilen tilhører manden - speaks to ownership in a quite literal sense, whereas høre til - vikingetogter hører fortiden til - is more a matter association, like: pertains to the past, or is at thing of the past
    hævnen og betalingen hører mig til (bibl.) - to me belongeth vengeance and recompense
     
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