Learn Norwegian Adjectives

Part II

Yngvil Yngvil Vatn Guttu
Learn Norwegian Adjectives  - Part II

Learn Norwegian Adjectives

Saturday, August 8, 2015

So in our last blog post we went through the correct use of adjectives in the indefinite form in Norwegian. You know, phrases like, en fin bil (a nice car) et fint eple (a nice apple).

This time we will look at adjectives in the definite form.

Like how to correctly talk or write about the great summer weather in Oslo (you might not think the weather is so great but at least you will after reading this post about learning to say it correctly).


Adjectives in the definite form - The main pattern

So let’s start with the main rule or main pattern – it is quite simple and goes like this:

In the definite form, adjectives which come in front of a noun get an “e”. So if the adjective is “fin” it becomes “fine” regardless of which gender the noun is.

So the word “epler” meaning apples is a neatrual noun in Norwegian, while the noun “bil” is a masculine noun and the adjective has the same form in front of them both:  

Fine bilen (the nice car) Fine eplet (the nice apple) Even if the noun is in plural the adjective stays the same in definite: Fine bilene Fine eplene


Easy? Yes it is, but wait there is one more thing

  • The definite article of the adjective

In Norwegian, the adjective has its own article in the definite form.

If the noun in front of the adjective is masculine or feminine the adjective gets the article den in front of it while the adjective in front of a neutral noun gets the article det.

Adjectives which come in front of a noun in the definite form plural gets the article de. So it looks like this:  

Masculine/feminine definite Neutral definite Plural definite
Den fine bilen Det fine eplet De fine bilene
Den fine stolen (chair) Det fine bordet (table) De bordene (tables)
Den fine stuen/stua(living room) Det fine soverommet (bedroom) De fine soverommene (bedrooms)


Adjectives in the definite form - Exceptions

Yes, there are exceptions, there always are. However, keep calm because they are easy to learn and there aren't too many. So the main exceptions are:

  • Some adjectives don’t get an 'e' in the definite form (there aren’t many)

Blå, grå, rosa
Masculine/feminine definite Neutral definite Plural definite
Den blå bilen (The blue car) Det blå huset (The blue house) De blå bilene (The blue cars)
Den rosa stolen (The pink chair) Det rosa bordet (The pink table) De rosa bordene (The pink tables)
Den grå stuen/stua (The grey living room) Det grå soverommet (The grey bedroom) De grå soverommene (The grey bedrooms)


  • Some adjectives always stay the same no matter the form of the noun.


Here are some of the most used ones:

bra (good)
sky (shy)
annerledes (different)
direkte (direct)
ekstra (extra)
gratis (free)
moderne (modern)
spennende (exiting)
stille (quiet)
  • Adjectives ending with er, el and en in the definite form.


The last letter changes place with adjectives that end with er, el, en and e.  

Sliten (tired)
voksen (grown up)
vakker (beautiful)
gammel (old)
spinkel (thin)


Masculine/feminine definite Neutral definite Plural definite
Den slitne mannen (The tired man) Det slitne barnet (The tired child) De slitene mennene (The tired men)
Den voksne damen/dama (The grownup woman) Det voksne mennesket (The grownup human) De voksne meneskene (The grownups (humans))
Den vakre hagen (The beautiful garden) Det vakre huset (The beautiful house) De vakre husene(The beautiful houses)
Den gamle kommoden (The old dresser) Det gamle skapet (The old closet) De gamle skapene (The old closets)
Den spinkle gutten (The thin/gangly boy) Det spinkle barnet(The thin/gangly child) De spinkle guttene(The thin/gangly boys)


Notice that the adjectives ending with -er, -en or -el where a double consonant comes before the 'e', one consonant is dropped and last letters switch places.

This is because we try to avoid three consonants in a row in Norwegian if it is possible.  


So how do you say "the great summer weather in Oslo"?

Here is some help - summer weather is written and pronounced as one word in Norwegian and the compound noun 'summer weather' is a neutral noun.  

Still not sure?


Here it is: 


- Det fine sommerværet i Oslo