3 Grammar

3 Grammar


Personal pronouns – object form

Personal pronouns have two forms in Norwegian, subject and object form.

  Subject form   Object form  
1.  jeg I meg me
2. du you deg you (singular)
3. han he ham (han) him
hun she henne her
det/den it det/den it
1. vi we oss us
2. dere you dere you (plural)
3. de they  dem them


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

De har en sofa. Den er i stua.
De har ei stue. Den er stor.
Dina har et skap Det har tre hyller.


Auxiliary verbs + infinitive

The auxiliary verbs:

skal  will, am/are/is going to
vil want to/will
kan can, be able to
have to, must
bør ought to/should

are followed by the infinitive.

The infinitive marker å is not used after auxiliary verbs:

Dina skal gå på skolen.
Mormor vil ha besøk.
Snart kan vennene se Dinas rom.
Han må finne en venn.

Skal + infinitive is often used to express future time:

Hva skal vi gjøre i dag?
Vi skal være hjemme.


Definite form

In Chapter 2 we presented the indefinite articles en, ei and et which indicate the gender of the noun (cf. a/an). In Norwegian, there is no article in front of the noun in the definite form. Instead a suffix is added. Masculine words get -en, feminine words get -a and neuter words get -et.

en stol a chair  →  stolen the chair
ei dør a door  →  døra the door
et bord  a table   →  bordet  the table

If the noun already ends with an -e, you just add the -n or the -t at the end of masculine and neuter words. When adding -a at the end of feminine words ending in -e, you drop the -e:

en familie  a family   →  familien  the family
ei stue a living room  →  stua the living room
et hjørne a corner  →  hjørnet the corner

Plural forms

The plural of indefinite nouns is normally formed by adding -(e)r. If the singular indefinite form ends in -e, you only add -r:

en stol a chair  →  (to) stoler chairs
ei dør a door  →  (to) dører doors
et hjørne  a corner   →  (to) hjørner  corners

Short (one syllable) neuter words take no ending in the indefinite form plural:

et hus a house   →  (to) hus houses
et rom  a room   →  (to) rom  rooms

In the definite form of the plural, the ending is usually -(e)ne:

stoler chairs  →  stolene the chairs
dører doors  →  dørene the doors
hjørner  corners   →  hjørnene  the corners

Some irregular plural forms

et barn a child barnet barn barna
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


To indicate who or what owns something you can:

  1. Add an -s to the owner: Dinas rom (without apostrophe)
  2. use the preposition til. Rommet til Dina.

Note that what is owned is in the indefinite form in sentence 1 and in the definite form in sentence 2.


Det er

The existential there in English (e.g. «There are two chairs in the living room») is translated by det in Norwegian. It does not agree with gender or number of the logic subject:

Det er fire stoler i stua. There are four chairs in the living room.
Det er ei seng på Dinas rom.  There is a bed in Dina's room.

Det can never be left out in sentences like these, even if the sentence starts with an adverb. In such sentences the verb is before det (cf. the verb is always the second element):

På Dinas rom er det ei seng.  In Dina's room there is a bed.