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Possessive Pronouns

SPEAKER: To possess or not to possess, how to express ownership in Norwegian? In this first video, we’re going to learn more about possessive pronouns. Possessive pronouns.
Possessive pronouns give information about ownership. In English, you use my, yours, his or hers. In Norwegian, we use different forms of possessives, depending on the gender of the owned noun. Let’s take a look. If the owner is jeg (I), you indicate possession by using either min, mi, or mitt, depending on the noun being masculine, feminine, or neuter. If the owned noun is in plural, you choose mine. Faren min er lærer. My father is a teacher. Mora mi er også lærer. My mother is also a teacher. Huset mitt er gammelt. My house is old. Bøkene mine ligger i sekken. My books are in the backpack. The possesives din, (your/yours) and vår (our/ours) also agree in number and gender with the noun.
Faren din, mora di, huset ditt, bøkene dine. Faren vår, mora vår, huset vårt, bøkene våre.
Hans (his), hennes (her/hers), and deres (their/theirs), are on the other hand invariable. Faren hans, mora hans, huset hans, bøkene hans. Faren hennes, mora hennes, huset hennes, bøkene hennes. Faren deres, mora deres, huset deres, bøkene deres.
So next to sum this up, if the owner is jeg, then the possesives will be min, mi, mitt, mine.
If the owner is du, the possesives are din, di, ditt, dine.
If the owner is han, then the possessives will be hans, hans, hans, hans, for the masculine, feminine, neuter, and plural. The same applies for hun - faren hennes, mora hennes, huset hennes, bøkene hennes.
If the owner is vi, then the possessives will be vår, vår, for masculine and feminine, vårt in the neuter singular, våre for the plural.
Dere, deres, deres, deres, deres. All forms are invariable. The same apply if the subject is de - faren deres, mora deres, huset deres, bøkene deres.
In Norwegian, the possessive pronouns can be placed either after the noun, like in the previous table, or in front of it. So, for instance, you can say, faren min or min far.
Note that the noun takes the definite form, when the possessive is positioned after it - faren min - while it takes the indefinite form when the possessive is positioned in front. Min far.
To sum this up - faren min, but, min far. Mora di, di mor. Huset hennes, hennes hus. Bøkene våre, våre bøker. Faren deres, deres far.
That’s what we had about possessives in general. In our next video, we will take a closer look at the reflexive form of the possessives. Don’t forget to watch.

Our second grammar video this week is about Possessive Pronouns.

This is the first of two videos we will have about possessives.

Believe it or not, even if small and apparently insignificant, these are crucial language features!

Let’s discover them together!

You can watch the video and read this text or just download our PP-presentation.

You decide your favourite way of learning!

So, what are Possessive Pronouns?

Well, the terminology used for possessive words and phrases is NOT consistent among all grammarians and linguists. So, welcome to the club if you’re feeling confused!

However, all agree that possessives give information about ownership.

If you have a sweet tooth for grammar, you can read more about possessives here.

But for the rest of the layfolk, let’s take some examples:

If the owner is JEG (I), you indicate possession by using either MIN, MI or MITT depending on the gender of the «owned» noun.
Jeg har en far faren MIN heter Karl maskulin
Jeg har en mor mora MI heter Anne feminin
Jeg har et hus huset MITT er gammelt neutrum
If the «owned» noun is in PLURAL, you choose MINE regardless of the gender:
Jeg har mange bøker bøkene MINE står i bokhylla
As you probably have noticed, the nouns take on the definite form. This always happens when the possessive comes AFTER the noun.
The possessives DIN (your/yours) and VÅR (our/ours) also agree in number and gender with the noun, while HANS (his), HENNES (her/hers) and DERES (you/yours in pl. and their/theirs) are invariable.
Here, there’s a table to summarise them all:
Owner Mascul. Femin. Neuter Plural English
JEG (I) faren min mora mi huset mitt bøkene mine my
DU (You) faren din mora di huset ditt bøkene dine your(s)
HAN (He) faren hans mora hans huset hans bøkene hans his
HUN (She) faren hennes mora hennes huset hennes bøkene hennes her(s)
VI (We) faren vår mora vår huset vårt bøkene våre our(s)
DERE (You pl.) faren deres mora deres huset deres bøkene deres your(s)
DE (They) faren deres mora deres huset deres bøkene deres their(s)
As we mentioned above, the possessive pronouns can be placed after the «owned object».
In this case, the definite form of the noun is mandatory. This is the normal form we use when speaking and in all informal situations.
However, in Norwegian, it is also possible to place the possessives in front of the «owned object».

In this case, we use the indefinite form of the noun, for example: MIN far.

This use of the possessive is a little bit more formal and preferred when writing, but in many cases, people just choose according to personal style, preferences and situations.

So, to exemplify this once more:

faren min but min far
mora mi but mi mor
huset mitt but mitt hus
barna mine but mine barn
faren din but din far
mora di but di mor
huset ditt but ditt hus
barna dine but dine barn
faren/mora hennes but hennes far/mor
huset hennes but hennes hus
bøkene hennes but hennes bøker
faren/mora hans but hans far/mor
huset hans but hans hus
bøkene hans but hans bøker
faren/mora vår but vår far/mor
huset vårt but vårt hus
bøkene våre but våre bøker
faren/mora deres but deres far/mor
huset deres but deres hus
bøkene deres but deres bøker

Well, that’s all for now!

We hope the video and this guide have helped you learn how to use the possessives more simply and pragmatically.

Next week, we will take a closer look at a very special type of possessives, the reflexive ones.

Meanwhile, practise and consolidate your new knowledge with our grammar exercises.

And don’t forget to speak Norwegian whenever you can!


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Norwegian for Beginners 3

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