This investigation is a pilot study aiming to identify suitable tools for assessing the linguistic competence of AD patients, compared to aphasics and normal elderly controls. A picture test eliciting past tense forms of Norwegian verbs, originally developed for testing childrenýs development of past tense inflection, has previously also been used for SLI children, adults under time pressure, second language learners, and Brocaýs aphasics (BA). Different error patterns have emerged for these groups, mainly related to the inflectional forms of the verbs. AD patients showed few errors of form, but some chose the past tense form of a different verb semantically related to the target verb. Furthermore, they easily strayed away from the test words, associating with other words. Our results indicate that the AD patients differ from the BA patients in having a semantic and not an inflectional problem. The age matched controls had no problems performing the test.