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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds Now, we are going to talk about nouns or substantives. We’ll look at the three genders of the Norwegian substantives and what you can do to learn them more easily. Norwegian nouns Nouns denote both concrete things and abstract concepts.

Skip to 0 minutes and 24 seconds Norwegian nouns have 3 genders: Masculine - Hankjønn Feminine - Hunkjønn Neuter - Intetkjønn The masculine grammatical gender is denoted by the article EN The feminine gender by the article EI The neuter gender by the article ET But how do you know the gender of a noun in Norwegian? Well, unfortunately, there are no clear grammar rules to explain why a noun is masculine, feminine or neuter. The specific cultural and historical background of the target language decide the linguistic development on this matter.

Skip to 1 minute and 16 seconds Sometimes, the grammatical gender reproduces the natural gender like in En gutt  – a boy Ei jente – a girl But sometimes, the correlation is not clear at all like in Et barn – a child Even if there are usually no doubts that the child, once born, is a boy or a girl, the grammatical gender in Norwegian is neuter. Sometimes, you will find that Norwegian nouns will have the same gender as in your language. But most of the times Norwegian nouns will differ from your language in gender. The only way to know the gender of a noun in Norwegian is to learn the word with its article.

Skip to 2 minutes and 4 seconds For each new noun you learn you should learn whether the noun is EN, EI or ET in gender. But how can you learn it and how do you learn it?

Skip to 2 minutes and 20 seconds Well, for instance you could: Post-it!

Skip to 2 minutes and 27 seconds You can also organize new words thematically with mind mapping: You can for instance find a word that you want to learn, for example Tekanne, a tea

Skip to 2 minutes and 37 seconds pot, and then you find words that can be associated with that concept or thing, like: water/vann, tea /te, or cop/en kopp. Then you can try to find a feeling that can be associated with all the words you want to learn, and that will make it easier for you to learn the words. For example joy/ glede But you can also try other strategies You can write lists if this helps you. You can translate from Norwegian into your mother tongue or vice versa and then group words toghether thematically, or as you please Ei tekanne = A teapot En kopp = A cop En te = Tea En glede = Joy Etc… Welcome back everybody. I hope the presentation was useful.

Skip to 3 minutes and 36 seconds We are going to talk more about Norwegian nouns in the next presentation where our focus will be on the indefinite and definite form of the nouns and how these forms are used in Norwegian.

Norwegian nouns

Nouns usually have genders. But how can you know whether the sun is masculine or feminine in another language? And why bother at all?

Have you thought about that? The gender of a noun differs from language to language.

The sun can for instance be feminine in Norwegian (sola), but masculine in Italian (il sole).

Why? Well…

It’s a long story, but you may find some answers to your question if you watch the video.


Do you have specific strategies to learn new words in another language? What do you think work best for you? Share your experiences and suggestions with your larger cohort. You might find some interesting clues!

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This video is from the free online course:

Norwegian for Beginners 1

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)