How to Learn Norwegian Grammar

One of the nicest things when learning Norwegian is the simplicity behind the grammar. Though it can help if you are familiar with other North-Germanic/Scandinavian languages, any English speaking person can get this down in good time!


  1. Image titled Learn Norwegian Grammar Step 1
    Start with the nouns. In Norwegian, there are two (technically three) genders a noun can have: common, which consists of both masculine and feminine, and neuter. As with German and French, you will have to learn the nouns with their respective articles. #*The articles are: en (for common) and et (for neuter). 'Ei' is used for the few feminine nouns out there. For example, "et dyr" means "an animal". This is what is known as the indefinite article, equivalent to the English "a" or "an".
    • Form the definite article, equivalent to "the" in English. Simply add the indefinite article as a suffix to the noun. For example, "et dyr" (an animal) becomes "dyret", meaning "the animal". "En stol" becomes "stolen", or "the chair". "Ei mark" becomes "marka", or "the field".
    • Form the plural form of Norwegian nouns. For common ('en') and MOST neuter ('et') nouns, you add -er (or just -r if the noun already ends in an unstressed 'e'). Thus, "stol" becomes "stoler", or "chairs". For the definite plural, you add -ene or just -ne to the end. No exceptions. "dyrene", "stolene", "markene": "the animals", "the chairs", "the fields".
    • Note that a lot of monosyllabic neuter nouns (meaning neuter nouns with just one syllable) have no ending in the indefinite plural, such as "dyr" ("animals"). Sadly, there are quite a few irregular plural nouns (too many to cover in this little paragraph). You must memorize these via a grammar book or class
  2. Image titled Learn Norwegian Grammar Step 2
    Learn about verbs. This is extremely important in any language, as it is the floor beneath your ability to properly communicate. Verbs aren't quite as simple as nouns, but don't be alarmed. With proper study, time, and practice, you will achieve your goal.
    • In Norwegian, there are strong verbs (whose conjugations are completely irregular) and there are weak verbs. While there is no foolproof way to identify whether a verb is weak or strong, there are some hints within the verb that can help you classify them. #*Weak verbs have four classes: the -et class, the -te class, the -de class, and the -dde class. How can you tell which verb belongs to what class? Well, look at the verb itself! For example, if a verb's stem end in 'mm', 'nn', or 'll', it probably belongs in class II (e.g. spille becomes spilte).
    • The infinitive of verbs end with -e. To find the stem, just chop that -e off! Example: kaste (throw); kast (stem, inf.).
    • This also serves as the imperative form of the verb (kast! "Throw!").
    • Visit a website or book for more in-depth practice on Norwegian verbs.


  • Don't rush! Nobody can learn Norwegian overnight. And chances are if you did, you wouldn't remember it all anyway. So, take your time. If there is something that you don't understand, slow down and spend time on this particular subject until you've got it down!
  • An amazing book to read is the old version of "Teach Yourself Norwegian", by Ingvald Marm and Alf Sommerfelt. It covers all of this and more.
  • Remember, learning a language isn't labor intensive work; it is meant to be fun. So, make your experience as memorable as possible.
  • Spend as much time studying as possible. Practice makes perfect. Create index cards of nouns and verbs, along with their article/forms/class. These are great for vocabulary building!
  • A nice site to learn some basics is Sons of Norway. Also, sign up for the 'Norskklassen' Yahoo! group; there is also a nice pronunciation guide at the site.

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Categories: Norwegian