Basic Norwegian grammar stuff 2 - Home

Basic Norwegian grammar stuff 2 - Home

Basic Norwegian grammar stuff 2


Nouns are special in Norwegian in that they are gender based, i.e. all nouns have one of three genders; masculine,

feminine, neuter – and then they have a plural form, irrespective of gender. However, most feminine nouns can

also be treated as a masculine noun (There are regional variations).

en stol (a chair) masculine

et hus (a house) neuter

ei seng (a bed) feminine

This means that the nouns must be graded in their respective ways. Norwegian nouns are graded into four

(usually) distinctive forms, as opposed to only two in English, by incorporating the “the” (the definite article) into

the noun. e.g.


en stol stolen stoler stolene

a chair the chair chairs the chairs

single indefinite single definite plural indefinite plural definite

So we can see the pattern of a masculine noun clearer, here it is again:

en Q Qen Qer Qene

House, a neuter noun:


et hus huset hus husene

a house the house houses the houses

single indefinite single definite plural indefinite plural definite

et w wet w wene

Note that in the plural indefinite (the third word above) there is nothing added, this is what one-syllable neuter

nouns look like. [We can call this Neuter 1] Thus, three houses” will be: tre hus

Neuter nouns with two or more syllables behave like the example below [which we can call neuter 2]:

et maleri maleriet malerier maleriene

a painting the painting paintings the paintings

single indefinite single definite plural indefinite plural definite

et et er ene

As you can see, it behaves just like the masculine nouns in the plural.


ei seng senga senger sengene

a bed the bed beds the beds

ei L La Ler Lene

Many feminine nouns that end In -e lose the -e and get an -a in the definite, e.g. ei lampe - lampa.

Feminine nouns are exactly the same in plural as the masculine ones. Rather confusingly for the foreign learner,

Norwegian nouns can have different genders according to where you live (or what social class you belong to). For

example, some people would say “sengen” [treating ‘bed’ as a masculine noun] instead of “senga”, [a feminine

noun] and some consider the former to be more conservative, but it is also the case that in Bergen there are only

two genders of nouns (!), masculine and neuter, so any noun that might be feminine elsewhere is used as a

masculine in Bergen. (This works fine if you’re Norwegian, but when you are trying to learn these nouns as a


En gutt (a boy)

What would the 4 different versions of the following nouns be:

Remember that there are two kinds of neuter nouns

En radio (a radio)

En datamaskin (a computer)

En penn (a pen)

There are a number of irregular nouns too:

Et kapittel (a chapter)

Et modem (a modem)

Et fall (a fall)

Et fly (an aeroplane)

En bok boken bøker bøkene

En bror broren brødre brødrene

En far faren fedre fedrene

En mor moren mødre mødrene

Ei dame (a lady)

Ei sti (a path)

Ei dør (a door)

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