Grammar Toolbox: Concord

The verb (the action word) has to match its subject (the doer of the action). This is called concord ("samsvar"). In Norwegian this is very simple because the verb does not change. In English it is slightly more complicated, though not too difficult. Compare:

  • I work as a driver – Jeg jobber som sjåfør
  • My friend works as a car mechanic – Min venn jobber som bilmekaniker
  • Sometimes we work on my car – Noen ganger jobber vi på bilen min

Do you see where the extra s in the verb goes? Most verbs follow this pattern, so:

  • I work, you work, he/she/it works, we/you/they work.

Practice saying the I work line a couple of times. Then do the same with the verbs fit, drive, follow, and choke. They all behave the same way.


be, have, do

As we have seen, most verbs are quite straightforward; there is an extra s in the 3. person singular (he/she/it lives). However, a few very important verbs behave differently, so look carefully at the verbs to be, to have and to do. These are the three most frequently used verbs in English:

  • I am, you are, he/she/it is, we/you/they are
  • I have, you have, he/she/it has, we/you/they have
  • I do, you do, he/she/it does, we/you/they do

Now practice them until you really know them! Work with a partner and drill each other for the correct translation: Jeg er, Han er, Vi har, De har, Jeg gjør, Hun gjør etc. Speed up so that it becomes natural to say it correctly.