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DET – MAN – EN: Impersonal Subjects


In Norwegian, you always have to express the Subject of a sentence even when this Subject is impersonal.

We have three ways of doing that:

Det (it)

When there is no logical Subject, we often use det.

This occurs for instance in impersonal constructions:

Det ringer på døra. The doorbell is ringing. / Someone rings the doorbell.
Det gjør vondt. It hurts.

DET is also used in expressions about the weather:

Det er fint vær. The weather is nice.
Det regner. It’s raining.
Det snør. It’s snowing.
Det er varmt. It’s hot.
Det er sol. It’s sunny.


Ålesund: Det kan bli flotte sommerdager i Norge!

MAN – EN (one)

Man is an indefinite pronoun.

It is used to refer to people, but not to specific individuals:

Man spiser ribbe på julaften. One eats ribs on Christmas Eve.
I Norge bruker man flagg på juletreet. In Norway, one uses flags on the Christmas tree.

En is also often used in the same way:

En kan studere norsk på Internett. One can study Norwegian on the Internet.


Man kan studere på nett. Det er enkelt og praktisk!
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Norwegian for Beginners 3

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