Yesterday bought I a new jacket

This sounds a bit funny, doesn’t it?  Only because two small words have changed place. In a perfect world it would have been sufficient to have the correct amount of sentence elements to build a sentence without bothering about where to place them. Who said life is supposed to be easy….

In a Norwegian main sentence a verb in present or past will always be in the second place in the sentence. Just like in this headline. (If it’s a compound verb like present perfect it might be divided by a sentence adverbial)

If you compare these two sentences: I bought a new jacket yesterday/ Jeg kjøpte en ny jakke i går   the sentence structure is identical. However; if you choose to start the sentence with the adverbial, suddenly they will no longer have the same structure:Yesterday I bought a new jacket/ I går kjøpte jeg en ny jakke.  The simple reason is that the Norwegian verbal is not able to leave its position; it is bound to be in the second place forever.

Whatever you want to express, remember: the Norwegian verbal is a prisoner, judge to life imprisonment in the second place in a main sentence.

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