Skip main navigation

Grammar notes

Wordcloud Grammar

1) More about Nouns

In the video about Norwegian nouns we had last week, we learnt that nouns in Norwegian have three genders and you should learn the gender of a noun for each new word you learn.

In this week’s video about nouns, we have learnt that a Norwegian noun also follows a declination or inflection, that means that you have 4 different forms of the noun:

Indefinite form singular Definite form singular
Indefinite form plural Definite form plural

In both videos you have also been introduced to the pattern for one-syllable neutral nouns which differ from the rest, as the word for child, barn, exemplifies:

et barn barnet a child the child
barn barna children the children

In this section, we take a closer look to some irregular forms of common nouns.

Some irregular plural forms

Irregular forms in a language are the most productive language forms. That means they are words which are used very often and because of that, they go through a lot of changes in the course of language history. Influenced by changes in the spoken language through centuries, they become irregular.
It is very important to learn the gender and the inflection pattern of irregular forms in another language. Learn them now, and you will easily have done half part of the hard work already!
In the table below you can find some examples of very common nouns which are irregular. As you probably notice, most of the nouns in the table are “family” nouns.
Indefinite form singular Definite form singular Indefinite form plural Definite form plural
et barn (a child) barnet (the child) barn (children) barna (the children)
ei bok (a book) boka (the book) bøker (books) bøkene (the books)
en bror (a brother) broren (the brother) brødre (brothers) brødrene (the brothers)
ei søster (a sister) søstera (the sister) søstre (sisters) søstrene (the sisters)
en far (a father) faren (the father) fedre (fathers) fedrene (the fathers)
ei mor (a mother) mora (the mother) mødre (mothers) mødrene (the mothers)
en mann (a man) mannen (the man) menn (men) mennene (the men)
Now that you have seen and understood the pattern, you might want to complete the table yourself…
Choose a word you want to learn and write down its inflection, you will learn it faster.
You can also try to practise on sentences that contain the irregular words listed in the table.

2) The Genitive:

Knowing the indefinite and definite forms of nouns is necessary when we want to indicate who or what owns something.
We have two ways of doing this:
Add an -s to the owner + indefinite form of the noun: Dinas rom (without apostrophe!)
Use the preposition til + definite form of the noun. Rommet til Dina.


Have you all noticed that what is owned is in the indefinite form in the first sentence and in the definite form in the second sentence?
If not, you might take a second look at the examples and the texts from week 3. Take your time!

3) Some particular words:

We are all foreigners in a way or another…

Foreigner – Foreign – Abroad

To translate these words, we use different expressions in Norwegian
Person: A foreigner
= en utlending
Jeg er utlending og skal bo her i over tre måneder. I am a foreigner and will be staying here for over three months.
Adjective: Foreign
= utenlandsk
Jeg har et utenlandsk pass. I have a foreign passport.
Adverb: Abroad

= i utlandet / utenlands

Han er i utlandet. / Han er utenlands. He is abroad.


Do you think you can write a couple of small sentences using the irregular nouns you just learnt? What about using utlending, utenlandsk and i utlandet? Share your sentences with the rest of the group.

Er du i utlandet nå?

This article is from the free online

Norwegian for Beginners 1

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now