Norwegian I Tutorial: Basic Phrases, Vocabulary and Grammar

There are two types of written Norwegian, Bokmål and Nynorsk. This tutorial includes Bokmål only. Thanks to Dan for helping with this tutorial!


1. Basic Phrases

God morgen
Good Morning
Hallo / God dag
Hello / Good Day
God kveld
Good Evening
God natt
Good Night
Ha det bra
Goodbye
Hei / Ha det
Hi / Bye
Vær så snill
Please
(Tusen) Takk
Thank you (very much)
Ingen årsak / Vær så god
Don't mention it / You're welcome
Ja / Nei
Yes / No
Herr / Fru / Frøken
Mister / Misses
Velkommen!
Welcome!
Hvordan har du det?
How are you?
Hvordan går det?
How it's going?
Bra / Dårlig
Good / Bad
Hva heter du?
What's your name?
Jeg heter...
My name is... (I am called...)
Hyggelig å treffe deg!
Pleased to meet you!
Hvor kommer du fra?
Where are you from?
Jeg er fra...
I'm from...
Unnskyld
Excuse me / Sorry
Hvor bor du?
Where do you live?
Jeg bor i...
I live in...
Jeg vil gjerne ha... / Jeg skulle gjerne hatt...
I would like...
Hvor gammel er du?
How old are you?
Jeg er ____ år (gammel).
I am ____ years (old).
Jeg vet [ikke.]
I [don't] know.
Snakker du norsk?
Do you speak Norwegian?
Jeg snakker engelsk.
I speak English.
Snakk langsomt
Speak slowly
svensk, dansk, fransk, italiensk, spansk, tysk, holländsk, rysk, japansk
Swedish, Danish, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Russian, Japanese
Hva heter ... på norsk?
How do you say ... in Norwegian?
Forstår du?
Do you understand?
Jeg forstår [ikke.]
I [don't] understand.
Vær så snill å gjenta / Vennligst gjenta
Please repeat
Hva er dette?
What is this?
Hvor er ... ?
Where is ... ?
Hvor mye koster dette?
How much does this cost?
Jeg er sulten
I'm hungry
Jeg er tørst
I'm thirsty
Jeg er trett
I'm tired
Jeg er syk
I'm sick
Jeg tror [ikke] det
I [don't] think so
Kom inn / hit
Come in / here
Ta plass
Have a seat.
Stans! / Stopp!
Stop!
Straks!
Immediately! / Soon!
Jeg har gått meg bort
I'm lost
Hjelp!
Help!
Fare!
Danger!
Pass på!
Watch out!
Vent litt!
Wait a minute!
Hvor langt er det?
How far is it?
Det var synd.
That's too bad!
Velbekomme!
Have a good meal!
Skål!
Cheers! (toast)
Lykke til!
Good luck!
Jeg elsker deg.
I love you.
Jeg savner deg.
I miss you.


2. Pronunciation

Norwegian letter(s) English sound
d silent at end of word; and in -ld, -nd, -rd
ig ee
eg ay
h silent before consonants, such as in hv-
j, gj, hj yuh, as in yes
kj, tj sh, but softer and more palatalized (as in German)
sj, skj sh
sl shl
ki, ky, kei, køy sh, but softer and more palatalized (as in German)
ski, sky, skei, skøy sh
gi, gy, gei, gøy yuh
g + other vowels guh
sk + other vowels sk
-egn, -egl, -øgn g is silent
ng nasalized, as in singer and not finger
æ ah as in cat
ø ay, but with lips rounded
å aw as in saw


3. Alphabet

a ahh k kaw u ooh
b bay l el v vay
c say m em w dobbel-veh
d day n en x eks
e ay o ooh y ew (lips rounded)
f ef p pay z set
g gay q koo æ ah (as in cat)
h haw r air ø ay (lips rounded)
i ee s ess å aw
j yod t tay


4. Nouns & Cases

Nouns in Norwegian (Bokmål) have two genders, masculine and neuter, which adjectives must agree with when modifying nouns. Technically there is a third gender, feminine (which Nynorsk retains), but since feminine nouns can be written as masculine nouns, I'm including feminine nouns in the masculine category. There are two indefinite articles that correspond with these genders: en for masculine nouns and et for neuter nouns. In the vocabulary lists, a noun followed by (n) means that it is a neuter noun and it takes the indefinite article et. The majority of nouns in Norwegian are masculine, so they take the indefinite article en.

The only case of nouns that is used in Norwegian is the genitive (showing possession), and it is easily formed by adding an -s to the noun. This is comparable to adding -'s in English to show possession. However, if the noun already ends in -s, then you add nothing (unlike English where we add -' or -'s). Olavs hus = Olav's house


5. Articles & Demonstratives

There are two indefinite articles (corresponding to a and an): en and et. En is used with most of the nouns (words denoting people almost always use en), but you will just have to learn which article goes with which noun. The definite article (the) is not a separate word like in most other languages. It is simply a form of the indefinite article attached to the end of the noun. Note that en words ending in a vowel retain that vowel and add an -n instead of adding -en. And et words ending in -e just add -t. Furthermore, the t of et as an indefinite article is pronounced; however, the t is silent in the definite article -et attached to the noun. (For feminine nouns, the indefinite article is ei and the definite article that is attached to the noun is -a. In theory, this gender does still exist in Bokmål, but in practice, it is rarely used and the feminine nouns are inflected like masculine nouns, i.e. add -en instead of -a for the definite form.)

Articles

En words (masculine)
Et words (neuter)
Indefinite
Definite
Indefinite
Definite
en fisk a fish fisken the fish et vindu a window vinduet the window
en baker a baker bakeren the baker et barn a child barnet the child
en hage a garden hagen the garden et hus a house huset the house

Demonstrative Adjectives

masculine denne dressen this suit den dressen that suit
neuter dette skjerfet this scarf det skjerfet that scarf
plural disse skoene these shoes de skoene those shoes

Notice that the noun that follows a demonstrative adjective must have the definite article attached to it.
(The feminine form of demonstratives is identical to the masculine; denne and den.)


6. Subject & Object Pronouns

Subject & Object Pronouns
jeg   I meg   me
du   you (singular) deg   you
han   he ham   him
hun   she henne   her
den   it (masc.) den   it
det   it (neut.) det   it
man   one man   one
vi   we oss   us
dere   you (plural) dere   you
de   they dem   them


7. To Be & to Have

The present and past tenses of verbs in Norwegian are very simple to conjugate. All the forms are the same for each personal pronoun. The infinitive of the verb to be in Norwegian is være, and the conjugated present tense form is er and the past tense is var. The infinitive of the verb to have is ha, and the conjugated present tense form is har and the past tense is hadde.

være - to be
ha - to have
I am jeg er I was jeg var I have jeg har I had jeg hadde
you are du er you were du var you have du har you had du hadde
he is han er he was han var he has han har he had han hadde
she is hun er she was hun var she has hun har she had hun hadde
it is den er it was den var it has den har it had den hadde
it is det er it was det var it has det har it had det hadde
one is man er one was man var one has man har one had man hadde
we are vi er we were vi var we have vi har we had vi hadde
you are dere er you were dere var you have dere har you had dere hadde
they are de er they were de var they have de har they had de hadde

To form the future tense of verbs, just add skal before the infinitive. Jeg skal være = I will be; hun skal ha = she will have; etc.


8. Useful Words

sometimes noen ganger / av og til already allerede
always alltid perhaps kanskje
never aldri both begge
often ofte some noe(n)
usually vanligvis again igjen
now between mellom
and og a lot, many mye / mange
but men of course selvfølgelig / såklart
or eller a little litt
very veldig / svært not at all ikke i det hele tatt / slettes ikke / overhodet ikke
here her almost nesten
there der really? virkelig?
with med it is det er
each other hverandre there is/are det finnes


9. Question Words

Who hvem How hvordan
What hva How much hvor mye
Why hvorfor How many hvor mange
When når How long hvor lenge
Where hvor Where from hvorfra
Which hvilken, hvilket, hvilke What kind of hva slags

Hvilken is used with masculine nouns, hvilket is used with neuter nouns, and hvilke is used with plural nouns.


10. Cardinal & Ordinal Numbers

0 null  
1 en, ett 1st første
2 to 2nd annen, andre
3 tre 3rd tredje
4 fire 4th fjerde
5 fem 5th femte
6 seks 6th sjette
7 sju 7th sjuende
8 åtte 8th åttende
9 ni 9th niende
10 ti 10th tiende
11 elleve 11th ellevte
12 tolv 12th tolvte
13 tretten 13th trettende
14 fjorten 14th fjortende
15 femten 15th femtende
16 seksten 16th sekstende
17 sytten 17th syttende
18 atten 18th attende
19 nitten 19th nittende
20 tjue 20th tjuende
21 tjueen, tjueett 21st tjueførste
22 tjueto 22nd tjueandre
30 tretti 30th trettiende
40 førti 40th førtiende
50 femti 50th femtiende
60 seksti 60th sekstiende
70 sytti 70th syttiende
80 åtti 80th åttiende
90 nitti 90th nittiende
100 hundre 100th hundrede
1,000 tusen 1,000th tusende
million million  
billion milliard  
trillion billion  

"Sju" can also be written "syv" (slightly more formal), and "sjuende" as "syvende" Similarly "tjue" can be "tyve", but this does seem less common and more formal.


11. Days of the Week

Monday mandag this morning i dag morges
Tuesday tirsdag tomorrow morning i morgen tidlig
Wednesday onsdag tomorrow afternoon i morgen formiddag
Thursday torsdag tomorrow night i morgen kveld
Friday fredag day after tomorrow i overmorgen
Saturday lørdag tonight i kveld
Sunday søndag last night i går kveld
day dag yesterday i går
morning morgen day before yesterday i forgårs
afternoon ettermiddag week uke
evening kveld next week nest uke
night natt weekend helg
today i dag daily daglig
tomorrow i morgen weekly ukentlig


12. Months of the Year

January januar
February februar
March mars
April april
May mai
June juni
July juli
August august
September september
October oktober
November november
December desember
month måned
last month forrige måned
monthly månedlig
year år (n)
this year i år
last year i fjor
yearly årlig


13. Seasons

Winter vinter in (the) winter om vinteren
Spring vår in (the) spring om våren
Summer sommer in (the) summer om sommeren
Fall høst in (the) fall om høsten


14. Directions

North nord Northeast nordøst
South syd Northwest nordvest
East øst

Southeast

sydøst

West vest Southwest sydvest

 

to the right til høyre
to the left til venstre
straight ahead rett fram / frem

Frem is slightly more formal than fram.


15. Colors

orange oransje
pink rosa
purple lilla
blue blå, blått, blå
yellow gul, gult, gule
red rød, rødt, røde
black svart, svart, svarte
brown brun, brunt, brune
gray grå, grått, grå
white hvit, hvitt, hvite
green grønn, grønt, grønne

The first three colors do not change according to gender or number to agree with the noun they modify. The rest of the colors must agree, however, and they are listed in masculine, neuter and plural forms: en grønn kjole - a green dress; et blått hus - a blue house; svarte sokker - black socks


16. Time

What time is it? Hva er klokken? now
It is 2. Klokken er to. early tidlig
6:20 tjue over seks earlier tidligere
half past 3 halv fire soon snart
quarter past 4 kvart over fire late sent
quarter to 5 kvart på fem later senere
10 past 11 ti over elleve in 10 minutes om ti minutter
20 to 7 tjue på sju in 15 minutes om et kvarter
noon middag in a half hour om en halvtime
midnight midnatt in an hour om en time
in the morning om morgenen right now akkurat nå
in the evening om kvelden at once med en gang
It's exactly... Den er nøyaktig... immediately straks
About/around 8. omtrent åtte At 8. klokken åtte


17. Weather

How's the weather? Hvordan er været? What temperature is it? Hvor mange grader er det?
It's cold Det er kaldt It's foggy Det er tåke
It's warm Det er varmt The fog is lifting Tåken letner
It's beautiful Det er pent It's snowing Det snør
It's bad Det er dårlig It's raining Det regner
It's clearing Det lysner It's going to storm Det bli storm
It's icy Det er isete There's thunder Det tordner
It's windy Det blåser There's lightning Det lyner
It's cloudy Det er overskyet It's freezing (cold as ice) Det er iskaldt
It's humid/muggy Det er fuktig It's hailing Det hagler


18. Family

Parents foreldre Niece niese
Mother mor Nephew nevø
Father far Uncle onkel
Son sønn Aunt tante
Daughter datter Boy gutt
Brother bror Girl jente, pike
Sister søster Child / Baby barn
Grandfather bestefar Adult voksen
Grandmother bestemor Man mann
Grandson barnebarn Woman kvinne
Granddaughter barnebarn Friend (male) venn
Cousin (male) fetter Friend female) venninne
Cousin (female) kusine    

Some family words have irregular indefinite plurals: mødre (mothers), fedre (fathers), sønner (sons), døtre (daughters), brødre (brothers), and søstre (sisters)


19. To Know People & Facts

kjenne - to know people
vite - to know facts
present
kjenner
vet
past
kjente
visste
future
skal kjenne
skal vite


20. Formation of Plural Nouns

Masculine nouns generally add -er or -r to the indefinite singular noun to form the indefinite plural, and -ene or -ne to form the definite plural. The names of jobs ending in -er only add -e and -ne in these cases. Neuter nouns that are more than one syllable form plural nouns the same way as masculine nouns. Neuter nouns that are only one syllable, however, add nothing to form the indefinite plural and either -ene or -a to form the definite plural.

Singular
Indefinite Plural
Definite Plural
en fisk fisker some fish fiskene the fishes
en hage hager some gardens hagene the gardens
en baker bakere some bakers bakerne the bakers
et vindu
vinduer some windows vinduene the windows
et hus hus some houses husene the houses
et barn barn some children barna the children

Irregular plural nouns in Norwegian:

Singular
Irregular Indefinite Plural
Singular = Indefinite Plural
and ender duck(s) angrep (n) attack(s)
bok bøker book(s) besok (n) visit(s)
bonde bønder peasant(s) eventyr (n) tale(s), story(ies)
fot føtter foot(feet) feil error(s), mistake(s)
hånd hender hand(s) forhold circumstance(s)
håndkle håndklær hand towel(s) høve (n) opportunity(ies)
kne (n) knær knee(s) kreps crawfish(es)
kraft krefter strength mus mouse(s)
ku kyr cow(s) mygg mosquito(es)
natt netter night(s) sild herring(s)
mann menn man(men) sko shoe(s)
rand render edge(s) spiker nail(s)
rot røtter root(s) ting thing(s)
sted (n) steder place(s) våpen weapon(s)
stang stenger bar(s)    
strand strender beach(es)    
tang tenger pincher(s)    
tann tenner tooth(teeth)    
tre trær tree(s)    
tær toe(s)    
øye øyne eye(s)    

Return to top of page ↑


© 1997 - 2014 Jennifer Wagner

ielanguages [at] gmail [dot] com

DisclaimerSite Map