5 Grammar

5 Grammar


Reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are identical to object pronouns (see Chapter 3) except for ham, henne, dem where the pronoun seg is used:

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

Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and the object in the sentence are the same person(s). They indicate that the subject is performing the action upon itself, while a pronoun in the object form indicates that the action is performed upon someone else than the subject. Notice the difference in these sentences:

Han vasker seg.  He is washing himself.  
Han vasker ham He is washing him (e.g. his son).  

Reflexive verbs

Some verbs require a reflexive pronoun even if it may not seem logic. These verbs are called reflexive verbs:

Tone setter seg i stolen.  Tone sits down in the chair. 

Some common reflexive verbs are:

å sette seg  to sit down 
å ha med seg  to bring 
å glede seg til  to look forward to 
å skynde seg  to hurry 
å kose seg  to have a nice time 
å tørke seg  to dry oneself 
å kle på seg  to dress 
å barbere seg  to shave 
å komme seg ut  to get out quickly (e.g. in an emergency )  


Most adjectives add -t in the neuter and -e in the plural.

Attributive form

Below, the adjectives are placed in front of the nouns to which they refer:

Singular  Plural 
Masculine  Feminine  Neuter   
en brun stol  ei brun seng  et brunt bord  brune stoler/senger/bord 
a brown chair  a brown bed  a brown table  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):

Singular  Plural 
Masculine  Feminine  Neuter   
Stolen er brun.  Senga er brun.  Bordet er brunt.  Stolene/sengene/bordene er brune. 
The chair is brown.  The bed is brown.  The table is brown.  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 andre etasje.  up  Han er oppe up/upstairs 
Han går ned i første 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 


Place prepositions

More about prepositions in connection with place.

Bak (behind), foran (in front of), i (in), (on), over (over), under (under) and ved siden av (next to) are typical prepositions in connection with place.

In the following we will have a closer look at the difference between i and på, and in addition explain the use of two other prepositions; til (to) and hos (at).


I is used when something is placed inside something, within borders or walls:

Klærne ligger i skapet.  The clothes are in the closet.  
Sofaen er i stua.  The sofa is in the living room.  

I is also used together with

Continents:  i Europa, i Asia 
Countries and states:  i Norge, i Kina, i Texas 
Cities:  i Trondheim, i Oslo, i Beijing 
Street names/addresses:  i Karl Johans gate, i Drammensveien 1 

is often used to indicate that something is on top of something else:

Boka ligger bordet.  The book is on the table.  

is also used in the following connections:

skolen  at school 
kino, teater  at the cinema, theatre 
restaurant, kafé  in/at a restaurant, café 
biblioteket  at the library 
jobb/arbeid  at work 
(ved) universitetet  at the university 

In the following connections i is also used:

på/i butikken  in/at the shop 
på/i kjøkkenet, stua  in the kitchen, living room 
på/i badet, soverommet  in the bathroom, bedroom 

is also used together with:

Islands:  Grønland (When the island is a state we use i: i Irland. Sometimes we can use both: på/i Sri Lanka.) 
Many inland cities in Norway:  Røros, Lillehammer 
Many parts of a city:  Grorud, Sinsen, Frogner 

It is often difficult to explain the use of i and together with Norwegian names of places. The topography or even the name itself often decides the preposition, but there are lots of exceptions and also local differences.


Til is the most frequent preposition denoting movement towards a place:

Ben går til kantina.  Ben goes to the canteen.  
Skal du dra til Fjordvik i dag?  Are you going to Fjordvik today?  

Notice that i or are generally used to express movement towards or into many rooms and institutions:

Dina går på badet Dina goes to the bathroom.  
Cecilie går i operaen Cecilie goes to the opera.  
Skal vi gå på kafé?  Shall we go to a café?  


Hos is used in front of persons in the meaning «at his/her place»:

De tar en kaffe hos Cecilie They have a coffee at Cecilie's. 
Så fint det er hos deg, Dina!  It is so nice at your place/in your room, Dina!  

We also use hos when we talk about some occupational groups:

Jeg er hos legen I am at the doctor's.  

When involving movement, we use til:

Anne går på besøk til Cecilie Anne goes for a visit at Cecilie's.  
Jeg må dra til legen.  I have to go to the doctor's.