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Til å and For å, when do I use them?
Hallo! I’ve been confused for quite some time now on when to know to use til å and for å. There are many times that I naturally want to use simply å but then I read things or check with a translator and instead it is either til å or for å I don’t know when to use these and why. Any help I would appreciate.
Apr 26, 2020 1:38 AM
Comments · 2
Good question!
Prepositions are never easy to understand. I'm sorry I can't give you a general answer because there are no general rules.

Til å - are often used for utensils or tools. EX: "Jeg bruker kniven til å kutte salaten"
The tool? The knife.

For å - are often used for intentions, to achieve something EX: "Jeg tok bilen for å komme fortere på jobb"
The intension? To get to work quicker.
May 3, 2020
Complicated question. And I'm a learner as well, so take this with handful of salt.

Set phrases

"Jeg kommer til å dra" ("I am going to leave"). "Dette får meg til å skrike" ("This makes me scream"). "Jeg er redd for å svømme" ("I'm scared of swimming").

For å

"For å" often expresses purpose. Any time you see "(in order) to" in English, that's "for å". "Vi kom for å besøke henne" ("We came to visit her"). Doing one verb in order to achieve a second verb.

Plain "å"

You'll often see this after adjectives. "Jeg har mye å gjøre" ("I have much to do"). "Det er vanskelig å si" ("It is difficult to say"). Traditional grammar has different names for this type of infinitive, including prolative infinitive, epexegetic infinitive. The function, at any rate, is expanding on the adjective.

Til å

Elisabeth's example is good: "Jeg bruker kniven til å kutte salaten" ("I use the knife for cutting the salad").

There are two parts to unpacking the grammar here.

Firstly, English forms both verbal nouns and present participles by adding "-ing". Norwegian, in contrast, sometimes has "-ing" nouns formed from verbs ("ei mening", "an opinion"). But it also often uses "å" or "det å" to create verbal nouns. So "Climbing the mountain was easy" could be rendered as "Å klatre fjellet var lett".

Secondly, "til" in Norwegian is often used after nouns to express something like "for the purpose of". "Stoler til kjøkkenet" ("chairs for the kitchen"); "blomster til blomsterbedene" ("flowers for the flower-beds"); "Har du plass til beina?" ("Do you have room for your legs?"); "Får jeg invitere deg til middag?" ("May I invite you for dinner?").

And, to join both parts of this explanation together: you can simply use a verbal noun instead of a normal noun. "Jeg har ei uke til å planlegge festen" ("I have a week for planning ("=to plan") the party").
June 24, 2020
Language Skills
English, Norwegian
Learning Language