How To Inflect Norwegian Nouns

Norwegian genders

This article shows you how to inflect Norwegian nouns. The inflection of nouns in the Norwegian langauge depends on which gender the noun is. There are three genders in the Norwegian language: masculine (hankjønn), feminine (hunkjønn) and neuter (intetkjønn). Let’s look at an example from each of the genders and see how they’re inflected.

Video about Norwegian nouns

How to inflect Norwegian nouns that are masculine

Dog

Hund = dog.

Example: En hund – hunden – hunder – hundene (=a dog – the dog – dogs – the dogs)

-> This example illustrates the general rule when it comes to conjugating Norwegian nouns that are masculine. Here is the rule when it comes to the suffixes (the endings):

Indefinitive form, singular: – (none)
Definitive form, singular: -en
Indefinitve form, plural: -er
Definitive form, plural: -ene

OVERVIEW INDEFINITE FORM DEFINITE FORM
SINGULAR None -en
PLURAL -er -ene

 

How to inflect Norwegian nouns that are feminine

Example: Ei jente – jenta – jenter – jentene (=a girl – the girl – girls – the girls)

Jente = girl.

Jente = girl.

->The rule on how to inflect a Norwegian noun that is feminine, is as followed:

Indefinitive form, singular: – (none)
Definitive form, singular: -a
Indefinitve form, plural: -er
Definitive form, plural: -ene

 

 

 

OVERVIEW INDEFINITE FORM DEFINITE FORM
SINGULAR None -a
PLURAL -er -ene

Note that you can also use the masculine indefinite article instead of using the feminine indefinite article (en instead of ei). It’s therefore correct to say for instance ei jente and en jente.

 

How to inflect Norwegian nouns that are neuter

3. Et hus – huset – hus – husene (= a house – the house – houses – the houses)

Hus = house.

Hus = house.

-> The way to inflect a Norwegian noun that is neuter, is like this:

Indefinitive form, singular: – (none)
Definitive form, singular: -et
Indefinitve form, plural: – (none)
Definitive form, plural: -ene

 

 

 

OVERVIEW INDEFINITE FORM DEFINITE FORM
SINGULAR None -et
PLURAL None -ene

 

Exceptions

Be aware of the fact that there are several exceptions when it comes to inflecting Norwegian nouns. In most instances the correct way is to inflect the noun according to its gender as described as above, but in order to master the Norwegian language you must learn the exceptions as well. On the positive side, the exceptions only have minor differences in inflection. Here are some examples of nouns that don’t follow the patterns above (the differences from the regular inflection have been emphasized):

Masculine

En politiker – politikeren – politikere – politikerne (=a politician – the politicianpoliticians – the politicians).

Abraham Lincoln was a politician.

Politiker = politician.

-> Many irregular masculine nouns follow this rule, for instance:

—-> En jeger – jegeren – jegere – jegerne (= a hunter – the hunter – hunters – the hunters).

 

 

 

Feminine

Book

Bok = book.

En/ei bok – boken/boka – bøker – bøkene (= a book – the book – books – the books).
-> There are many irregular nouns that follow this pattern with a shift of vowel in plural.

Other examples of feminine nouns that are inflected with a vowel shift are for instance:

—-> En/ei hånd – hånda – hender – hendene (= a hand – the hand – hands – the hands).

—-> En/ei strand – stranda – strender – strendene (= a beach – the beach – beaches – the beaches).

 

Neuter

Tre = tree.

Tre = tree.

Et tre – treet – trær – trærne (= a tree – the tree – trees – the trees).
-> As you can see, there can also be vowel shifts in Norwegian nouns that are neuter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

You have now learned that the inflection of Norwegian nouns depends on the gender of the noun. The nouns often follow a fixed pattern, but there are also several exceptions.

Questions? Let us know in the forums.

This is great! Now we know how to inflect Norwegian nouns and conjugate Norwegian verbs. Feel free to take a break or head over to the section for interactive exercises.

Are you ready to continue our adventure? I am! Let’s dive into more grammar and learn about Norwegian adjectives.

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Peder B. Helland
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