Scandinavian language challenge day 9

Today I worked through the second chapter of Norwegian in three months, which introduces:

  • the genitive;
  • adjective endings: indefinite
  • adjective endings: definite
  • infinitive and present tense
  • questions and answers
  • other words


Nouns add the suffix -s to form the possessive (genitive). Examples:

  • naboens hage (the neighbours garden)
  • båtens eier (the owner of the boat)
  • landets grenser (The borders of the country)
  • myndighetenes ansvar (the responsibility of the authorities)

In colloquial Norwegian, the propositions til, av are often used instead of the genitive. Examples: hagen til naboen; eieren av båten.

The genitive can also replaced by compound nouns, such as båteieren.

Adjective endings: indefinite

The following endings are added to adjectives modifying indefinite nouns: no ending (common gender); -t (neuter); -e plural, both common and neuter).


  • in the neuter singular, no -t is added to adjectives ending in -ig or -lig, or in -t preceded by another consonant.
  • for adjectives ending in a stressed vowel, -tt is used instead of -t. In the plural, some of these adjectives add -e in the plural, but others add no ending: examples: et fritt land (a free country); frie land (free countries); blå slips (a blue tie); blå slips (blue ties)
  • liten (small, little) has neuter lite and plural små

Adjective endings: definite

Before an adjective modifying a definite noun, the article den (neuter = det; plural = de) is used, and the adjective ending is -e in both genders, singular and plural. Examples:

  • den store byen (the large town)
  • det høye huset (the tall house
  • det dyre bilene (the expensive cars).
  • The-e form of lite (little) is lille.

This definite article appears both before the adjective (den/det/de) and suffixed to the noun (-en, et, -e). This repetition is typical of colloquial Norwegian. The suffix can be dropped in formal speech and writing, especially with abstract nouns.

The same suffix -e is also added to adjectives following some other words classes, for example, the demonstratives den, det, de (that, those) and denne, ditte, disse (this, these); and possessive adjectives.

Adjectives (like English or German): dyr (expensive); gul (yellow); rød (red); tynn (thin); lang (long); spiss (pointed); merkelig (peculiar); hyggelig (pleasant); kort (short); ny (ew); god (good); nødvendig (necessary); hardt (hard); kaldt (cold); hele (all); glad (glad);

Other adjectives: vanskelig (difficult); et feilaktig (svar) (a wrong answer; riktig (correct); sort (black); lys (fair); brå (sudden); heldig (lucky); naturfreist (nature mad)

Infinitive and present tense

The infinitive of most verbs ends in unstressed -e, but some end in a stressed vowel. Adding the word å before the infinitive creates a form similar to the English infinitive following to. Examples å selge (to sell); å bo (to live)

Most verbs form their present tense by adding -r (for all persons, singular and plural). Examples: selger; bor

Some other verbs (like English or German): kjøpe (buy); bruke (use); beskytte (protect); fryse (freeze); ta (take); kle (dress); gli (slide); blø (bleed); ønske (want, like German wünschen?, wish?]; reise til (go to); arbeide (work); se på (watch); like (like); vise (show); overleve (survive); forlate (leave)

Some other verbs: trenge (need); pynte (seg) (dress up); foretrekke (prefer); snu (turn); bruke (wear); ta seg av (take care of)

Questions and answers

In questions, the subject follows the verb.

In negative answers, not is ikke.

In affirmative answers, yes is ja in response to affirmative questions and jo in response to negative questions. Examples:

  • Snakker de Norsk? Ja, de snakker norsk. (do they speak Norwegian?)
  • Snakker de ikke norsk? Jo, de snakker norsk.

Some of the other words in this chapter

Nouns (like English or German): søster (sister); foreldre (parents); fargen (the colour); blomsten (the flower); en sak (a cause); et svar (an answer); et skjørt (shirt); en lastebil (lorry); blusen (the blouse); skoen (the shoe); øyet (the eye); øyne(ne) ((the) eyes); nesen (the nose); lett (easy); møtet (the meeting); livet (the life); timen (the hour); valget (the election); mulighet (possibility); klærne (the clothes); fru (wife); herr (Mr); uken (the week); helsen (the health); luften (the air); fotturen (the walking tour)

Nouns (other): en avis (a newspaper); vesken / posen (the bag); farten (the speed); hjørnet (the corner); en genser (sweater); et skjerf (scarf); bukser (pl. trousers); en kjole (a dress); et pakkhus (warehouse); et varemagasin (department store); et veikryss a crossroads)]; undertø (underwear); bondegard (farm); fjernsynet (TV); venn (friend); tremenningen (the second cousin); skogen (the forest)

Other: meget (very); hver (every); sikkert (certainly)

Phases: morgenen (the morning); om aftenen (in the afternoon); om winteren (in winter); i dag (today); i sommer (this sommer); å bli hjemme (to stay home); sammen med (together with); rundt i byen (round the town); hva med Dem (deg)? (How about you?); når det gjelder (as far as … is concerned); for et sammentreff! (what a coincidence); jeg må deseverre (i’m sorry to); å gensyn (see you later)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *