9 Grammar

9 Grammar


Possessive pronouns

The possessive pronouns give information about ownership. If the owner is jeg (I), you indicate possession by using either min, mi or mitt depending on the gender of the «owned» noun. If the «owned» noun is in plural, you choose mine:

Faren min er lærer.  My father is a teacher.  
Mora mi er også lærer.  My mother is also a teacher.  
Huset mitt er gammelt.  My house is old.  
Bøkene mine ligger i sekken.  My books are in the bag.  

The possessives din (your/yours) and vår (our/ours) also agree in number and gender with the noun while hans (his), hennes (her/hers) and deres (their/theirs) are invariable.

Owner  Masculine  Feminine  Neuter  Plural 
I   faren min
my father 
mora mi
my mother 
huset mitt
my house 
bøkene mine
my books 
you  faren din
your father 
mora di
your mother 
huset ditt
your house 
bøkene dine
your books 
he  faren hans
his father 
mora hans
his mother 
huset hans
his house 
bøkene hans
his books 
she  faren hennes
her father 
mora hennes
her mother 
huset hennes
her house 
bøkene hennes
her books 
we  faren vår
our father 
mora vår
our mother 
huset vårt
our house 
bøkene våre
our books 
you  faren deres
your father 
mora deres
your mother 
huset deres
your house 
bøkene deres
your books 
they  faren deres
their father 
mora deres
their mother 
huset deres
their house 
bøkene deres
their books 

In Norwegian, the possessive pronouns can be placed either after the «owned object», like in the table above, or in front of the «owned object»: faren min or min far.

Note that the noun takes the definite form in the first case while it takes the indefinite form in the latter:

faren min  but  min far 
mora di  but  di mor 
huset hennes  but  hennes hus 
bøkene våre  but  våre bøker 
faren deres  but  deres far 


Compound nouns

Sometimes, two or more nouns are needed to give a precise description of an object. In such cases, the nouns are written as one word in Norwegian. The last part of the compound noun tells you what kind of thing it is, while the first part gives more precise information:

et møte + et rom  = et møterom (a meeting room, a room for meetings
et prosjekt + en leder  = en prosjektleder (a project leader, a leader of a project

The last part of the compound noun defines its gender and inflection:

ei stue + et bord  = et stuebord – mange stuebord (bord is a short neuter)
(a living room table – many living room tables

In some compound nouns an -s- or an -e- is used to combine the words:

en tid + en frist  = en tidsfrist (a deadline
et barn + en hage  = en barnehage (a kindergarten


Relative clauses

The English relative pronouns who, which and that are all translated with som in Norwegian, regardless of whether it is referring to people, animals or objects:

Jeg har en bror. Han er 30 år gammel.
I have a brother. He is 30 years old.  
 →  Jeg har en bror som er 30 år gammel.
I have a brother who is 30 years old.  
Jeg har en katt. Den er søt.
I have a cat. It is cute.  
 →  Jeg har en katt som er søt.
I have a cat which is cute.  
Jeg har en bil. Den er ny.
I have a car. It is new.  
 →  Jeg har en bil som er ny.
I have a car which is new.  

A relative clause is a subordinate clause, and therefore adverbs like ikke are placed in front of the verb:

Jeg har en bil som ikke er ny.  I have a car which is not new.  

In the examples above, som is also the subject of the relative clause. If som is not the subject of the relative clause, the subject will come directly after som, as for any subordinating conjunction:

Jeg har en bil som jeg kjøpte i juni.  I have a car which I bought in June.  

Da - når

Both da and når mean when.

We use da about a single occurrence or a continuous period of time in the past:

Alex traff Jens da han begynte i barnehagen.
Alex met Jens when he started in kindergarten.  

We use når for customary or repeated actions, even for repeated actions in the past:

Jeg liker å slappe av når jeg kommer hjem fra jobben.
I like to relax when I come home from work.  
Jeg likte alltid å slappe av når jeg kom hjem fra jobben.
I always liked to relax when I came home from work.  

We also use når for actions in the future:

Jeg skal ta eksamen når kurset er ferdig.
I will take the exam when the course is finished.