Icelandic is kicking my ass

The last two days have been dealing with cases. Nominative, accusative, dative and genitive. So here’s your Icelandic phrase for today.

[audio:mybrainhurts.mp3]
Heilinn minn meiðir.
Translation: My brain hurts.

See. Useful phrases like this aren’t in your standard guide book. My biggest problem was that I had no idea what the English equivalent of the last two cases was. I mean, I’ve tried learning Icelandic before and always got stuck trying to figure out what genitive meant. I think I’ve got it now.

nefnifall (nominative) Are either the subject of a sentence, i.e. the one who does, OR the object of að vera (to be) or að heita (to be named/called). Like, in “that is I,” the I is nominative because nothing is being done to it. Þetta er ég.

þolfall (accusative) Are the direct objects, Like, “the boy eats the fish.” But a word can also be in the accusative case if certain prepositions are in front of it.

þágufall (dative) These are the indirect objects and some prepositions. “Will you give him the book.” “Him” is dative.

eignarfall (genitive) These have to do with posession. “I miss him.” “She guards him” And then, some prepositions. The prepositions, I’ll just have to memorize, but at least the others make sense now.

The reason this is important is that each Icelandic word “bends” depending on the case that it’s in and takes a different ending. Watch:

Masculine ending for words which end in “ur”.

case singular plural
a boy the boy boys the boys
nf strákur strákurinn strákar strákarnir
þf strák strákinn stráka strákana
þgf strák strákinum stráku strákumnum
ef stráks stráksins stráka strákanna

Mascline words can also end in i, ll, nn, and r, each of which bends differently. And then there’s feminine and neuter words.

So now, everyone repeat after me, “Heilinn minn meiðir.”

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