Norwegian: vært og handlet?

littlepond

Senior Member
Hindi
Hei alle sammen!

I was watching Season 1 of NRK series "Side om side", and at the beginning of Episode 6, as a woman is walking by with shopping bags in her hand, her neighbours, enjoying themselves in the lawn (eating and talking), spot her and greet her, and then the woman walking by asks them, "Hei! Vært og handlet?"

Now I guess that it must mean "Hi, have you already been out for shopping?" or something like that. But I don't understand the construction, which literally seems to translate to "Been and shopped?" Is it a normal construction that is used in many situations? For example, "have you already been reading/running/watching TV/etc.", could one use "Vært og lest/løpt/sett/etc."?

Takk på forhand!
 
  • myšlenka

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Hi littlepond,
    the construction where you conjoin være with another verb like that is a way of expressing progressive meaning in Norwegian. I hesitate to call it "progressive aspect" because I don't think the construction is purely progressive. It seems to add another semantic element as well, which I find difficult to define but it seems there has to be some kind of spatial of temporal separation between speaker and receiver or the individual(s) in question.

    vært og handlet? - (have you) been shopping?
    Han er og spiller fotball - he is playing fotball. (not here)
    De var og syklet - they were riding their bikes. (somewhere)

    Imagine that you are walking into your daughter's room while she is cleaning it. If you are asking what she is doing, a reply with this kind of construction is very very odd:

    A: Hva gjør du?
    B: #Jeg er og vasker rommet mitt.

    I will wait for other speakers to comment on the felicity of having coinciding spatial or temporal locations.
     
    Last edited:

    Svenke

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Imagine that you are walking into your daughter's room while she is cleaning it. If you are asking what she is doing, a reply with this kind of construction is very very odd:

    A: Hva gjør du?
    B: #Jeg er og vasker rommet mitt.

    I will wait for other speakers to comment on the felicity of having coinciding spatial or temporal locations.
    I agree with the "#" in this case, because "Jeg" is at his/her place. But look at the following:

    Jon er her og spør etter deg.

    This is OK in spite of it happening "here", because Jon is away from his usual place.
     

    raumar

    Senior Member
    Norwegian
    Jon er her og spør etter deg.
    Yes, but this is different from the other examples, since you included "her". But it might still work without "her".

    Couldn't the phrase "er og" be seen as an omission of a word, usually "ute"? For example:

    English: "She is out shopping."

    Norwegian: "Hun er ute og handler." or "Hun er og handler."
     
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