Introduction to Icelandic: Lesson 2

Let’s throw in some plurals. Now that we know how to say I, which is ég, we can learn how to say we.

Very often, English words beginning with a w corresponds to Icelandic words beginning with v.

Icelandic for we is við.

Icelandic for we are is við erum.

(The letter Uu sounds like a short i with rounded lips. Somewhat like a French u or a German ü.)

?We are standing.|Við erum að standa.

?We are learning.|Við erum að læra.

In Modern English, we use the word you for both singular and plural. In Icelandic there’s a difference between þú and its plural form.

Icelandic for plural you is þið.

Icelandic for plural you are is þið eruð.

(From now on, you’ll see (sg) for singular and (pl) for plural, to avoid any confusions.)

?You (pl) are sitting.|Þið eruð að sitja.

?You (pl) are helping.|Þið eruð að hjálpa.

Let’s learn the word for here, which is very similar to English.

Icelandic for here is hér.

?You (pl) are here.|Þið eruð hér.

?You (sg) are here.|Þú ert hér.

In English, we differentiate males, females and things with he, she and it respectively, but we don’t make any difference when referring to many people or things with they. In Icelandic, there’s a difference.

Icelandic plural for he, or masculine they, is þeir.

Icelandic for they are is þeir eru (masculine, in this case).

?They (m) are here.|Þeir eru hér.

Icelandic plural for she, or femenine they, is þær.

?They (f) are here.|Þær eru hér.

Icelandic plural for it, or neuter they, is þau.

(The combination au sounds like ey in they, but with rounded lips.)

?They (n) are here.|Þau eru hér.

Now that we know how to say we, you and they, let’s introduce some other verbs similar to English.

The verb to send is að senda.

?We are sending.|Við erum að senda.

?You (pl) are sending.|Þið eruð að senda.

The same way it doesn’t change much in English, það doesn’t change in Icelandic either, no matter where you put it.

?They (n) are sending it.|Þau eru að senda það.

?They (f) are sending it here.|Þær eru að senda það hér.

Now we can join two sentences with a simple word…

Icelandic for and is og.

?I am Alex and I am sending it.|Ég er Alex og ég er að senda það.

?I am standing and you (sg) are sitting.|Ég er að standa og þú ert að sitja.

Icelandic for to hold is að halda.

?We are holding it.|Við erum að halda það.

?They (m) are holding it and you (pl) are sending it.|Þeir eru að halda það og þið eruð að senda það.