3 Grammar


Personal pronouns


Both den and det mean it. Den is used to replace masculine and feminine nouns, det replaces neuter nouns:

Ken har en hybel. Den er i første etasje.
Anna har ei veske. Den er fin.
Hybelen har et skap.  Det er stort.

Reflexive pronouns

Many Norwegian verbs contain a reflexive pronoun. Reflexive verbs indicate that the subject is performing the action upon itself. The verb å vaske seg (to wash oneself) is reflexive; the verb å vaske noe/noen (to wash something/someone) is not:

Jeg vasker ham I am washing him.
Jeg vasker meg I am washing myself.

Reflexive pronouns are identical to object pronouns (see Chapter 2) except for ham, henne, dem where the pronoun seg is used:

Jeg vasker  meg myself
Du vasker  deg. yourself
Han vasker  seg. himself
Hun vasker  seg. herself
Det/Den  vasker  seg. itself
Vi vasker  oss. ourselves
Dere vasker  dere yourselves
De vasker  seg. themselves

Some other reflexive verbs are:

å barbere seg  to shave
å glede seg til  to look forward to
å kle på seg to dress
å sette seg to sit down
å tørke seg to dry oneself



To indicate who or what owns something you can:

  • add an -s to the owner: Marias rom (without the apostrophe)
  • use the preposition til. Note that what is owned is in the definite form: gitaren til Maria.

Special plural forms

In Chapter 2 we learnt that the indefinite and the definite plural form of the noun normally is formed by adding -(e)r and -(e)ne: biler (cars) and bilene (the cars). Some nouns however do not follow the normal rule. Some of them are listed below:

1. Short, monosyllabic neuter words have no plural -(e)r in the indefinite form:

et bord 
a table 
the table 
the tables

2. Nouns ending in -er, mostly denoting persons, have the plural forms -e and -ne:

en italiener 
an Italian
the Italian
the Italians

3. When the noun ends in -el, one -e is dropped when adding -er and -ene. The double consonant is reduced to one:

en nøkkel 
a key
the key
the keys

Some other irregular plural forms

ei bok a book boka bøker bøkene
en bror a brother  broren brødre  brødrene
ei søster  a sister søstera  søstre søstrene
en far a father faren fedre fedrene
ei mor a mother  mora mødre  mødrene
en mann  a man mannen  menn mennene


Main pattern: Most adjectives add -t in the neuter and -e in the plural. Below this is demonstrated with the adjective brun (brown):

Attributive form

Below the adjectives are placed in front of the nouns which they describe:



en brun stol 
a brown chair 
ei brun seng 
a brown bed 
et brunt bord 
a brown table 
brune stoler/senger/bord
brown chairs/beds/tables

Predicative form

Below the adjectives are connected to the noun with the verb er (am/is/are ) - present tense of å være (to be):



Stolen er brun. 
The chair is brown 
Senga er brun. 
The bed is brown 
Bordet er brunt. 
The table is brown 
Stolene/sengene/bordene er brune.
The chairs/beds/tables are brown


Some adverbs have two forms, one indicating movement, the other for stationary situations:

Movement   Stationary  
Han går inn. in Han er inne. in/inside
Han går ut. out Han er ute out/outside
Han går opp i 2. etasje.  up Han er oppe up/upstairs
Han går ned i 1. etasje.  down  Han er nede down/downstairs
Han går hjem. home  Han er hjemme.  at home

Note that there are also two forms for here and there.

Movement   Stationary  
Han kommer hit here  Han er her here
Han går dit there  Han er der there



Which preposition with places? I or ?

The general rule is

  • I (in) + continents/countries/counties/cities
  • (in/on/at) + inland cities, areas, institutions
i Europa  Røros, Lillehammer
i Norge  Gløshaugen, Dragvoll, Lade
i Sør-Trøndelag  NTNU, universitetet, Sintef
i Trondheim