A Grammatical Enquiry

“Det er viktig for helsa om høsten og vinteren” meaning “It is important for health in autumn and winter.” (Lesson 14. Norwegian 1A)
“Ellers har det vært mye dårlig vær i høst” meaning “Otherwise, there has been much bad weather in the fall.”

Why is it that, in the first instance, " in autumn and winter" is described as " om hosten og vinteren," literally “in the autumn and the winter”, while in the second instance, “in the autumn” or “the fall” (I have no problem with “the fall”), “the autumn is described as “i host”” not “i hosten?”

Hi @daisy2chain

Om is used to describe how long until something happens OR something that is repeated several times.

In your example: “Det er viktig for helsa om høsten og vinteren” - It is something that is repeated several times - Every fall/autumn and winter it is important for health.

I is used when talking/writing about the current or the nearest season or time of day, and can be present, future or past, also when talking about months and years, and how long something lasts or has lasted.

In your example: “Ellers har det vært mye dårlig vær i høst” - We’re talking about the current or the nearest season which is present or past.

We have four seasons:

  • Winter (Vinter)
  • Spring (Vår)
  • Summer (Sommer)
  • Autumn/Fall (Høst)

I vinter
I vår
I sommer
I høst

We are talking about the nearest:

  • Something that just was (Past)
  • Something that is now (Present)
  • Something that is upcoming (Future)

Om vinteren
Om våren
Om sommeren
Om høsten

We are talking about something in general as mentioned earlier:

  • Every winter, spring, summer, fall/autumn (Hver vinter, vår, sommer, høst)

Note the ending en in “vinteren”, “våren”, “sommeren”, “høsten” when we use the preposition Om. When using the preposition I, we don’t have any ending; “vinter”, “vår”, “sommer”, “høst”.

Additional lesson:
Another preposition we use is Til which literally means To.

Til is used to describe a future period of time, during which something is going to happen.
Til vinteren
Til våren
Til sommeren
Til høsten

Here, we also use the ending en in vinteren etc.

For example:
Til sommeren kommer Coco på kino” - “Coco is coming to the cinema/movies next summer”

We’re talking about something that is upcoming.

I hope this answered your questions and concerns. It was difficult to explain why certain stuff is how it is; Norwegian is a complicated language grammar-wise :joy:

Best regards

Swedish is equally crazy when it comes to prepositions used with time expressions! But it is not really a grammar problem, it is a lexical one :wink:

1 Like

Thank you, Walbern.

Thanks, Amanda. This helps me to understand.