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Grammar notes

Basics of Norwegian grammar
Grammar Notes

This week’s Grammar notes are all about quantities!

You’re probably thinking: “How much of this should I read? And for how long? There are a lot of pages here! A lot?! ….Oh no, please!”

Don’t panic! If it makes you feel any better, know that there are many sharing your same feelings at the moment…

But picture for yourself this scenario: You want to express these very same feelings in Norwegian.

What would you have said?

…Exactly! You need words for quantities!


Let’s start with the basics.

Some nouns are Countable, that means you can count each single item.

Some nouns are Uncountable, that means that the noun refers to a mass rather that single items.

Consider these sentences:

  • There are many cafés downtown.

  • Ben has some shelves in his office.

You can count how many cafés there are downtown and certainly how many shelves Ben has in his office.

Now, take a look at these sentences:

  • The boss gives much information

  • Ben drinks a lot of coffee with a lot of sugar!

  • Ben buys some coffee

Can you count how “many information items” or “ coffee/sugar items”? Can you count 1 coffee, 2 coffee, 3 coffee etc.? 1 sugar, 2 sugar etc.?

You can’t, because these nouns refer to a mass and not to single items.

You could count how many cups of cofee, how many coffee beans and how many sugar cubes or sugar spoons though…

But otherwise is how much sugar and coffee you like in your cup.

In Norwegian, MANGE (many) and NOEN (some) are used together with countable nouns:

Det er mange kaféer i sentrum There are many cafés downtown
Ben har noen hyller på kontoret Ben has some shelves in his office


NOEN is also used about persons in the meaning someone:

Noen kommer der borte Someone is coming over there

MYE (much/a lot of) and NOE (some) are on the other hand used together with uncountable (mass) nouns:

Sjefen kommer med mye informasjon The boss gives much information
Ben drikker mye kaffe med mye sukker! *Ben drinks a lot of coffee with a lot of sugar!
Ben kjøper noe kaffe Ben buys some coffee


NOE can also be used without a noun. Then it has the meaning something or anything:

Vil dere ha noe å spise? Noe å drikke? Do you want something to eat? Something to drink?

What about when you just have two items then? And both items are important?

The English both is BEGGE or BÅDE in Norwegian.

Begge oppgavene er vanskelige Both exercises are difficult
  • Note that begge can stand alone:
Begge er lange Both are long
  • Både, on the other hand, requires “og”:
Både faren min og mora mi er hjemme Both my father and my mother are at home

It is also possible to coordinate more than two elements with both in Norwegian:

Både Ben, Cecile, Dina og Alex bor i Fjordvik Ben, Cecilie, Dina and Alex (all) live in Fjordvik

Dette var ikke mye da! Du overlevde!

Det er kanskje mye å huske, det er mange nye regler og ord, det vet vi, men du klarte det fint!

Og du er klar nå til å løse Grammatikkoppgavene for uken!

All in all, this was not much at all! You survived! Perhaps, it’s a lot to remember, there are many new rules and words, we know that, but you clearly managed! And you’re ready now for this week’s Grammar exercises!

This article is from the free online

Norwegian for Beginners 2

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