Introduction to Nynorsk/Nouns

As you might have guessed from the previous page, Nynorsk has three grammatical genders. The indefinite articles are as follows; and have no exceptions:

indefinite articles
Masculine Feminine Neuter
ein ei eit

They are used in the same way as the English indefinite articles:

ein båt ("a boat")
ei liste ("a list")
eit bord ("a table")

Unlike English, Norwegian uses suffixes as definite articles. The singular suffixes are

singular definite suffixes
Masculine Feminine Neuter
-en -a -et

For all the suffixes, whether indicating indefinite or definite, plural or singular, they replace any ending vowel, or are otherwise simply appended. Thus we have

båten ("the boat")
lista ("the list")
bordet ("the table")

The plural definite suffixes are not quite as unique as the singular definite suffixes, and they will therefore be introduced with the individual noun classes below.

Masculine nounsEdit

There is one main class of masculine nouns, here referred to as m1. Its inflection goes as follows:

m1
indefinite singular definite singular indefinite plural definite plural
bjørn bjørnen bjørnar bjørnane
bear the bear bears the bears

Note that the definite singular form of the masculine noun hage ("garden") is hagen; since, as noted above, any ending vowel is replaced by the definite suffix.

Most masculine nouns follow the pattern in the table above, but there is another sizeable class, m2:

m2
indefinite singular definite singular indefinite plural definite plural
stad staden stader or stadar stadene or stadane
place the place places the places

As you see, this class can be inflected just as the first class. Traditionally, however, it has been inflected with -er and -ene in plural. This is the pattern that was used in Old Norwegian, and is still found in many dialects.

The word mann, meaning "man" (as in "male human"), has a unique inflection of its own, following a pattern similar to its English relative:

mann
indefinite singular definite singular indefinite plural definite plural
mann mannen menn mennene
man the man men the men

The word son ("son") has a highly irregular inflection:

son
indefinite singular definite singular indefinite plural definite plural
son sonen søner sønene
son the son sons the sons

The word sko ("shoe") also has a special inflection:

sko
indefinite singular definite singular indefinite plural definite plural
sko skoen skor or sko skorne or skoa
shoe the shoe shoes the shoes

skor and skorne are the traditional forms.

Feminine nounsEdit

Traditionally, there have been at least three major classes of feminine nouns; and in many dialects, there still are. With the latest standard reform (2012), however, one might say that Nynorsk only has two classes left, depending on definition. There is still a difference between the two (f1 and f2) in the singular indefinite form, however, so it does not hurt to keep treating them as two separate classes, as is done below:

three/two main classes of feminine nouns
class indefinite singular definite singular indefinite plural definite plural
f1 vik vika viker vikene
bay the bay bays the bays
f2 side sida sider sidene
page the page pages the pages
f3 melding meldinga meldingar meldingane
message the message messages the messages

As you can see, the last class, f3, has the same plural suffixes as the main masculine class, m1; while f1 and f2 both have the same plural suffixes as the traditional inflection of m2. The definite singular suffixes, however, are distinct for each grammatical gender.

Just like the word son, the word dotter ("daughter") has an irregular inflection:

dotter
indefinite singular definite singular indefinite plural definite plural
dotter dottera døtrer døtrene
daughter the daughter daughters the daughters

Neuter nounsEdit

Most neuter nouns follow the inflection pattern below:

n1
indefinite singular definite singular indefinite plural definite plural
døme dømet døme døma
example the example examples the examples

As you can see, both indefinite forms are identical for this class. The words auga ("eye") and øyra ("ear") are inflected the following way:

irregular neuter nouns
indefinite singular definite singular indefinite plural definite plural
auga or auge auga or auget augo or auge augo or auga
eye the eye eyes the eyes

In other words, both nouns can be inflected just as a regular neuter noun. As with the previous similar cases, the traditional forms are the ones that stand out: øyra - øyra - øyro - øyro.


ExamplesEdit

Try to figure out the meaning of the following sentences by using the tables above (and whatever you have learnt from the previous pages). The answer is accessed by hovering the mouse pointer over the sentence.

  1. Ser du bjørnen?
  2. Her er skorne dine. (her = here)
  3. Han gav dei eit døme.
  4. Ho fekk nye meldingar. (nye = new (pl.))
Last modified on 30 March 2014, at 20:33