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  • The Quick Guide to Norwegian grammar

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There are two official Norwegian languages: Bokmål and Nynorsk. The language briefly described below is Bokmål and is spoken by 85% of Norwegians. With a little extra study, Bokmål-speakers can understand Swedish and Danish.

Pronunciation (link)

Grammar

Norwegian word order is generally more like English than German. However, if an element is fronted (moved to the first position in the sentence) it displaces the subject, which moves after the verb. In basic sentence structure the noun comes first.

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The plural ending is -er for common and polysyllabic neuter nouns, e.g. katter 'cats'. Monosyllabic neuter nouns e.g. hus have no ending in the plural, i.e. hus.

Note that the (pl) triggers another ending. The (pl..) is -ene, e.g. kattene, husene. (Neuter nouns have an alternate plural ending -a, e.g. husa, and this must be used with barna 'children' and bein 'leg'.)

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The future is formed with skal or vil and the bare infinitive. Jeg skal (gå) hjem. 'I'll go home.'

Adjectives

Adjectives add -e: before a plural noun

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Possessive adjectives usually follow the noun, and the noun is put in the definite form (i.e. with the after it).

Adverbs

Usually come after the verb:
Han liker ikke suppe. 'He doesn't like soup.'

However in a subordinate clause (e.g. followed by at 'that' or fordi 'because'), they come before the subordinate verb:
Jeg vet at han ikke liker suppe. 'I know that he doesn't like soup.'
Han har aldri lest en bok. 'He has never read a book.'
Fordi han aldri har lest en bok, er han uvitende. 'Because he has never read a book, he is ignorant.'

Common words difficult to guess from English and German

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