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The reflexive Possessive Pronouns: SIN – SI – SITT – SINE


In week 1, we introduced the Possessive Pronouns:

The different forms of MIN (my/mine), DIN (your/yours) and VÅR (our/ours), and the invariable forms HANS (his), HENNES (her/hers) and DERES (your/yours plural + their/theirs).

In this week’s grammar video, we’re going to take a closer look at a very special possessive form, the reflexive possessive SIN – SI – SITT – SINE.
Not all languages have reflexive possessives. Some languages don’t have possessives at all! So don’t worry if you feel this topic is difficult to understand.
Feel free to take your time! Read this text and watch the video as many times as you need. We will try our best to clarify and explain along the way.
So, in the 3. person singular and plural (han, hun, de/he, she, they), there is a reflexive possessive pronoun called SIN.
We use the different forms of SIN when the Subject of the sentence, we say, owns the Object or you might say when the Subject and the Object in a sentence refer to the same person.
Basically, SIN, SI, SITT, SINE refer back to the Subject in the sentence, while the forms we learnt last week HANS, HENNES, DERES refer to something other than the Subject in the sentence.
Take a look at these sentences:
1) Sissel ringer tannlegen sin Sissel calls her (own) dentist → Sissels tannlege
2) Sissel ringer tannlegen hennes Sissel calls her dentist Cecilies tannlege? (another person)

In 1), we use SIN because both Subject and Object refer to the same person: Sissel. In other words, SIN refers back to the Subject in the sentence, right?

In 2), we have a different story:

HENNES doesn’t refer back to Sissel. HENNES tells us that Subject and Object refer to two different persons. We don’t know whom HENNES is referring to, but we can understand that it has to be another person and not Sissel. The context will then give us clues to understand who this person may be.

And voilà!, we have now a clever grammar tool to help us identify without doubt who is owning what. Well, as long we apply the rules correctly, of course!

The reflexive possessive pronouns SIN – SI – SITT – SINE agree in gender and number with the owned noun, so we have to make sure to use them in the right way:

SIN is the masculine singular form

SI is the feminine singular

SITT is the neuter singular


SINE is the plural form regardless of gender.

Let’s summarize this in a table:

Sissel ringer til tannlegen sin Sissel ringer til sin tannlege Sissel calls her own dentist
Sissel elsker dattera si Sissel elsker si datter Sissel loves her (own) daughter
Sissel liker huset sitt Sissel liker sitt hus Sissel likes her (own) house
Sissel elsker skoene sine Sissel elsker sine sko Sissel loves her (own) shoes


As all the other possessives, we can place SIN-SI-SITT-SINE both after or before the noun. Just remember to use the correct form of the substantive, definite form in the first case, indefinite in the latter.

Watch the video for more examples!

And download our PP-presentation if you prefer to have it all in paper.


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Norwegian for Beginners 3

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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