How to Learn Icelandic Grammar

Icelandic (Íslenska) is a North Germanic Indo-European language (also known collectively as Scandinavian languages) spoken primarily in Iceland and Canada, as well as Norway, Denmark, and the United States of America. It has retained nearly all of the grammar from Old West Norse, which comprised of Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian. It has kept a lot of the inflections and noun declensions, however, Norwegian has greatly simplified the grammar.


  1. Image titled Learn Icelandic Grammar Step 1
    Learn the personal pronouns. Which are as follows:
    • Ég - I - yeg (soft g)
    • Þú - you - thoo ('th' in 'think')
    • Hann/hún/það - he/she/it - hahn/hoon/thahdh ('dh' = 'th' in 'this')
    • Við - we - vidh ('i' in 'in')
    • Þið - you (plural) - thidh ('i' in 'in')
    • Þeir/þær/þau - they (male/female/mix) - thayr/thair/thuh-ee (the 'au' diphthong is pronounced like 'uh' and 'ee' together)
  2. Image titled Learn Icelandic Grammar Step 2
    Learn the three noun genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Most of the time, the noun endings should give you some idea as to what gender they are, but not all nouns do. The most common endings of the individual genders are:
    • Masculine: -ur (dagur - day - DAH-gihr)
    • Feminine: -a, no ending (fjölskylda - family - FYUHL-skill-da)
    • Neutral: no ending (blað - paper - blahdh)
  3. Image titled Learn Icelandic Grammar Step 3
    Understand that there are no indefinite articles (English 'a/an'). So, 'dagur' could mean both 'day' and 'a day'.
  4. Image titled Learn Icelandic Grammar Step 4
    Learn the definite articles (English 'the'). It is suffixed to the noun and is based on the gender.
    • Masculine: -inn/-nn (dagurinn - the day)
    • Feminine: -in/-n (konan - the woman)
    • Neutral: -ið/-ð (barnið - the child)
    • A good way to memorize these is by looking at those personal pronouns again. Masculine nouns will have -nn as in the word 'hann' (he), while feminine ones will have -n as in the word 'hún' (she); those of neuter gender will have -ð as in the word 'það' (it).
  5. Image titled Learn Icelandic Grammar Step 5
    Learn verb tenses. The Icelandic verb is a long, twisting path of irregular and regular conjugations, irregular past tenses, and groups labeled 1 and 2. Luckily, there are more regular verbs than irregular, so there will only be certain conjugations that you will HAVE to memorize; otherwise, you just apply the rules for whichever verb depending on which group it belongs to.


  • Always try to find another person that speaks Icelandic in order to properly hear what it sounds like, and to get improvements.

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Categories: World Languages