3 Grammar

3 Grammar


Personal pronouns


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

Anton har en hybel. Den er i første etasje.
Boyana 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:

a) add an -s to the owner: Catalinas rom (in Norwegian without the apostrophe)
b) use the preposition til. Note that what is owned is in the definite form: gitaren til Catalina.

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:

Singular     Plural
Masc. Fem. Neut.  
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):

Singular     Plural
Masc. Fem. Neut.  
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 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


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