2 Grammar

2 Grammar


Personal pronouns - object form

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

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



Auxiliary verbs + infinitive

Auxiliary verbs like
skal  will, am/are/is going to
vil want to/will
kan can, be able to
have to, must

are followed by the infinitive (without the infinitive marker å in front):

Ken skal sjekke adressa.
Han vil ta en taxi.
Anna kan betale med kort.
Hun må vente på neste buss.

Skal + infinitive is often used to express future time:

Hun skal reise til Trondheim.
De skal dra til England snart.

Imperative form

The imperative form of the verb is made by removing the infinitive -e from the infinitive:

å stoppe   to stop  →  Stopp!  Stop!
å vente to wait  →  Vent! Wait!

When the infinitive form is short (consists of only one syllable) the infinitive and the imperative form is the same:

å dra  to go  →  Dra!  Go!
å gå to walk   →  Gå! Go/Walk!


In Chapter 1 we presented the indefinite articles en, ei and et which indicate the gender of the noun (cf.a/an). Norwegian is unusual in that the definite article, i.e the, is formed by adding -en at the end of masculine words, -a at the end of feminine words and -et at the end of neuter words.

en brus  a soda  →  brusen  the soda
ei avis a newspaper    →  avisa the newspaper
et tog a train  →  toget the train

If the noun already ends with an -e, you just add the -n and 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 pose a plastic bag   →  posen the plastic bag
ei jente a girl  →  jenta the girl
et frimerke  a stamp  →  frimerke the stamp

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 bil a car  →  (to) biler (two) cars
ei avis a newspaper    →  (to) aviser (two) newspapers
et frimerke  a stamp  →  (to) frimerke (two) stamps


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

et kart  a map    →  (to) kart  (two) maps
et kort  a card   →  (to) kort   (two) cards

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

biler cars  →  bilene the cars
aviser newspapers   →  avisene the newspapers
frimerker  stamps  →  frimerkene  the stamps

Question words

Hvilken (which)

There are several question words in Norwegian. Hvilken (which) is in general used to single out one object among many. This question word agrees with the noun's gender and number:

Hvilken buss tar du?  -en in front of a masculine noun (en buss)
Hvilken avis leser du?  -en in front of a feminine noun (ei avis)
Hvilket kart vil du ha?  -et in front of a neuter noun (et kart)
Hvilke aviser leser du?  -e in front of plural nouns (aviser)

Word order

As mentioned in Chapter 1 the verb is the second element when the person(s) is carrying out the action:

Jeg snakker norsk

The verb is also the second element when the sentence starts e.g. with words for time or place:

Nå (now) kommer  bussen.
Der (there ligger resepsjonen.

Note that we by verb mean finite verb when describing word order. A finite verb is a verb in present or past tense (preterite). In the following examples the finite verb (the auxiliary verbs vil and skal) is placed in the second position of the sentences while the main verb comes later.

Ken  vil gjerne  ta (main verb) en taxi.
skal  han dra. (main verb) 
Der vil han bo. (main verb)