Norwegian: Hun kommer her/hit

StunningNorway

Member
English - Australia
Hei alle sammen

Hun kommer her/hit. What is the difference in usage of these adverbs. They both translate as, 'She comes/is coming here.'


Tusen takk.
 
  • hanne

    Senior Member
    There's some discussion of the same thing in Swedish here (and another link inside that thread). That should give you some background. The meaning should be the same, but it may be more or less common in Norwegian compared to Swedish - I'll leave it for someone else to comment on that (I only know it's a lot less common in Danish than in both Norwegian and Swedish).
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    Hun kommer her/hit. What is the difference in usage of these adverbs. They both translate as, 'She comes/is coming here.'
    I don't know if it's similar in Norwegian as in Swedish, but if I was to translate "hun kommer her" into English I would use "here she comes" (for example when answering a telephone call and the caller wanted to speak to someone and I give the telephone to that person), and for "hun kommer hit" it would be "she comes/is coming here", it's more as the person is not in the same place where I am but I see her walking towards me.
     

    StunningNorway

    Member
    English - Australia
    Takk, Hanne og Autumn Owl

    Therefore, in this email.....'Kan du komme hit onsdag.12 september'......hit has been used because I have to phsically move (drive) to that person's house/we are in different locations....
    Is that how it works? :confused:
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Takk, Hanne og Autumn Owl

    Therefore, in this email.....'Kan du komme hit onsdag.12 september'......hit has been used because I have to phsically move (drive) to that person's house/we are in different locations....
    Is that how it works? :confused:

    Theoretically it works like this. In formal language one should use 'hit' for the target of motion. In colloquial Norwegian, however, many people will use 'her' instead of 'hit'.
     

    NorwegianNYC

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Well, the simple answer is that HIT implies movement and HER implies location. Norwegian has a double set of adverbial prepositions depending on whether one is motion or at a location (e.g. "ut" and "ute"). English has remnants of the same system in terms of here and hither. Technically, it is incorrect to say 'she is coming here' in English. One can say 'she is here', but the proper way of denoting movement would be 'she is coming hither'
     

    timtfj

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Hei alle sammen

    Hun kommer her/hit. What is the difference in usage of these adverbs. They both translate as, 'She comes/is coming here.'


    Tusen takk.
    Her is a place and hit is a direction. There are a lot of pairs of adverbs like this: hjem/hjemme, ned/nede, inn/inne, ut/ute, bort/borte, opp/oppe etc. Mostly one has an -e and the other doesn't, and the one with -e is static ("in a place") while the one without involves movement to the place.

    Really you need to find a list of them and learn them as pairs. Thinking of them as "to" and "at" places might help: e.g. hit = "to this place" and her = "in this place".

    Hun kommer hit, with the result that hun er her. Han går ut, og så er ute.
     

    timtfj

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Well, the simple answer is that HIT implies movement and HER implies location. Norwegian has a double set of adverbial prepositions depending on whether one is motion or at a location (e.g. "ut" and "ute"). English has remnants of the same system in terms of here and hither. Technically, it is incorrect to say 'she is coming here' in English. One can say 'she is here', but the proper way of denoting movement would be 'she is coming hither'
    That remnant is actually how I remember which way round hit and her go: hit is like a shortened version of hither.
     

    Erejota

    Member
    English- United States
    I came here with a Norwegian question (which was very nicely answered in the replies above), and find I learned a little English as well. I have only heard “hither” used in ancient literature or scriptures, or in a satirical way by someone imitating older English speech- perhaps it is used more commonly in the UK. I find the parallel between “hit” and “hither” both interesting and useful- thanks to all for the enlightenment!
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    You might like to note that there is also der (there) and dit (thither).

    The "inn" and "inne" are also interesting as they are often paired with "i". "Han kommer inn i huset" and "Han sitter inne i huset". I initially found that a puzzling construction, and have never had an explanation of the reason why (to an English speaker) there seems to be a redundant preposition, but it just seems natural to me now.
     
    Last edited:

    Erejota

    Member
    English- United States
    You might like to note that there is also der (there) and dit (thither).

    The "inn" and "inne" are also interesting as they are often paired with "i". "Han kommer inn i huset" and "Han sitter inne i huset". I initially found that a puzzling construction, and have never had an explanation of the reason why (to an English speaker) there seems to be a redundant preposition, but it just seems natural to me now.
    Hei winenous,
    Thank you- I have had the same question about the “extra” preposition. I posed it to my son-in-law, a native Norwegian with excellent English and Norwegian grammar skills, and he responded that prepositions in Norwegian are confusing- just ask our kids (who are growing up speaking both English and Norwegian). He acknowledges the “extra” preposition seems redundant, and it could be omitted, but it just doesn’t sound or feel right to him. I guess that is just one of conventions that vary from language to language…

    I found the explanations above by timtfj very helpful regarding place versus direction. I had heard previously that there were several pairs like those referenced in this thread, but never understood the distinction until now.

    Thanks again for responding with your insights!
    R.J.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I have only heard “hither” used in ancient literature or scriptures, or in a satirical way by someone imitating older English speech- perhaps it is used more commonly in the UK.
    I would say it is used in British English, but only in certain phrases. Not satirical, but it is perhaps rather literary or old-fashioned. You can for example talk about a "come-hither look" - a look that is seductive or flirtatious. There is also "hither and thither", as in "they ran hither and thither" - they ran about randomly.
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    Seems to me that the pair 'her/hit' breaks the rule to some extent, because you can of course say 'hun kommer her', whereas the other pairs mentioned stick to the rule: you will never hear a Norwegian saying "Lars er hjem/inn/ut"* or "Kari skal hjemme/inne/ute"*
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    Seems to me that the pair 'her/hit' breaks the rule to some extent, because you can of course say 'hun kommer her', whereas the other pairs mentioned stick to the rule: you will never hear a Norwegian saying "Lars er hjem/inn/ut"* or "Kari skal hjemme/inne/ute"*
    In Swedish:
    Lars är hemma/inne/ute/här/där
    Kari ska (kommer/går) hem/in/ut/hit/dit
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    "Han kommer inn i huset" and "Han sitter inne i huset". I initially found that a puzzling construction, and have never had an explanation of the reason why (to an English speaker) there seems to be a redundant preposition,

    He acknowledges the “extra” preposition seems redundant, and it could be omitted, but it just doesn’t sound or feel right to him.
    If anything is redundant in Norwegian, it's not the preposition "i". You can't omit the "i" in any of these expressions. I am no grammar expert, but aren't "inne" and "inn" adverbs?

    Anyway, you need both "inn" and "i" in "Han kommer inn i huset" - and likewise both words in "Han kommer ut i hagen", "Han kommer ned i kjelleren". It may be helpful to regard "inn i" (or "ut i" etc.) as the Norwegian equivalent to "into" - Norwegian uses two words where English has one.

    "Han sitter inne i huset" seems different, since it is possible to omit "inne". But let's first consider "Han sitter ute i hagen". If the speaker is inside the house, he/she could say either "Han sitter i hagen" or "Han sitter ute i hagen" - but "ute" seems a bit more natural, and emphasizes the difference between the speaker on the inside and the other person on the outside.

    If the speaker is outside, but not in the garden, there is no need for "ute". You could still say "Han sitter ute i hagen", to emphasize the "ute" part, for example if this is unusual and he usually is inside. If the speaker is out on the street, it might actually be possible to say "Han sitter inne i hagen", if the garden is perceived as "inside" relative to the speaker's position (for example on the inside of a garden wall or hedge).

    Likewise, "Han sitter inne i huset" implies that the speaker is on the outside. It is more difficult to think of a context where "Han sitter i huset" would be the natural choice.

    Seems to me that the pair 'her/hit' breaks the rule to some extent, because you can of course say 'hun kommer her', whereas the other pairs mentioned stick to the rule
    Yes, but as AutumnOwl wrote in post #3 ten years ago, the meaning is not quite the same. "Hun kommer hit" means that she comes towards the location of the speaker. "Hun kommer her" has a broader meaning. If you watch cross-country skiing on TV, and Therese Johaug appears on your TV screen, coming out of the wood and into the ski stadium, you could say "Hun kommer her" or "Her kommer hun", but not "Hun kommer hit" (unless you expect Johaug to visit you in your own home).

    Likewise, you can say "Her kommer sola" (Here comes the sun), without implying that the sun is moving towards you.
     
    Top