Fifteenth lesson

Travelling, family names and noun forms


Welcome on board – in the fifteenth lesson – leksjon nummer femten – greets you from a plane. We are on the way to the sunny Egypt. In the Norwegian language, the noun has four forms. Let`s learn them all!

Lesson video   


1det gar bra, takk  it is OK, thanks
2ubestemt form  indefinite form
3bestemt form  definite form
4entall  the singular form
5flertall  the plural form
6jenta  that/this girl
7flaska  that / this bottle
8dagen  that/this day
9måneden  that/this month
10dagene  those days
11månedene  those months
12huset  that/this house
13barnet  that/this child
14en mamma  mother
15mammaen  that mother
16ei datter  daughter
17dattera  that/this daughter
18en sønn  son
19sønnen  this son
20ei kone  wife
21kona  this wife
22en mann  husband (spouse)
23en ektemann  husband (spouse)
24mannen  this husband
25ektemannen  this husband
26en bror  brother
27broren  this brother
28ei en søster  sister
29søstera  this/that sister
30søsteren  this sister
31en fetter  cousin (male)
32fetteren  this/that cousin (male)
33ei en kusine  cousin (female)
34kusina  this cousin (female)
35kusinen  this cousin (female)
36ei en tante  aunt
37tanten  this/that aunt
38en onkel  uncle
39onkelen  this/that uncle
40dattera til  someone’s daughter
41lyst hår  blond hair
42svart hår  black hair
43krøllete hår  curly hair
44liten av vekst  short stature
45ved siden av  next to, beside
46en ost  cheese
47ei en pølse  sausage
48grønnsaker  vegetables
49frukter  fruits
50et syltetøy  jam
51pålegg  the Norwegians use this word to call anything they can put on a sandwich
52krumkake  a waffle baked in a waffle-iron
53ølbrød  beer soup
54en venn  a friend


God dag, alle sammen! Velkommen om bord! Hello everybody! Welcome onboard – in the fifteenth lesson – leksjon nummer femten – greets you from a plane. We are on the way to the sunny Egypt.

  • - Ema, sover du ? Ema, are you asleep? Wake up and say hello, our lesson has already begun!
  • - Oi! Ja? Unnskyld. Hei! God dagen!

As always, let’s start the lesson with a listening exercise, lytteøvelse, let’s do some exercise for our tongues and ears.

Lytteoppgave. Hva hører du? Lang eller kort vokal? Listening exercise. What do we hear? Long or short vowel? If long – we say “lang”, if short – “kort”. Let’s start.

  • - Ema, sover du ? Ema, are you asleep? Wake up and say hello, our lesson has already begun!
  • - Oi! Ja? Unnskyld. Hei! God dagen!

Skal vi gjenta? Ja? Now repeat all the words in a row:


Let’s practice saying more difficult consonants and their combinations:

kjøre, kirke, kysse / kjøre, kirke, kysse

Pay attention to the pronunciation of the sound ‘ng’ - press your tongue against the palate, attention:

ting, mange, sang / ting, mange, sang
skøyter, ski, sky, sjal, skjære, kjæreste / skøyter, ski, sky, sjal, skjære, kjæreste
gjerne, gjennom / gjerne, gjennom
hjerne, hjelpe / hjerne, hjelpe
hvor, hva, hvordan / hvor, hva, hvordan

Fint! Great! Oh, it is fun to fly! You just sit relaxed and watch the clouds through the window... But let’s not forget that we have to learn.

In the Norwegian language, the noun has four forms: indefinite –   ubestemt form, for example, as we have learned – ei datter, en gutt, et hus, and definite –   bestemt form (will talk about it soon), and, accordingly, the singular (  entall) and plural (  flertall)forms.

The bestemt form of feminine singular nouns is made by adding the ending -a, for example:

ei jente – a girl,   jenta – that/this girl,

ei flaske – a bottle,   flaska – that / this bottle

In the plural bestemt form, we add the ending -ene: jentene, flaskene.

The bestemt form of masculine singular nouns is made by adding the ending -en, for example:

en dag – a day,   dagen – that/this day,

en måned – a month,   måneden – that/this month

The plural bestemt form is made in the same way, by adding the ending -ene:

  dagene– those days

  månedene– those months

The bestemt form of the neuter gender is made by adding the ending -et, for example:

et hus – a house,   huset – that/this house

et barn – a child,   barnet – that/this child

The plural bestemt form is made in the same way as bestemt flertall of the feminine and masculine gender, by adding the ending – ene: husene, bilene.

Let’s try and make the bestemt of singular nouns. Attention, by this exercise we will kill two birds with one stone: we will learn the names of family members and make the singular bestemt form:

  en mamma

How do we say the definite form of en mamma in the singular?   mammaen.

  ei datter

Let’s make the bestemt form:   dattera.

  en sønn

Let’s make the bestemt form:   sønnen.

  ei kone

What is the bestemt form? We can hear that "wife" is a feminine noun:   kona.

Husband (spouse)
  en mann eller   en ektemann

Let’s make the bestemt form:   mannen eller   ektemannen.

  en bror

What is the singular definite form?   broren.

  ei en søster

Let’s make the feminine and masculine variants of the bestemt form:   søstera eller   søsteren.

Cousin (male)
  en fetter

The bestemt entall form is   fetteren.

Cousin (female)
  ei en kusine

How do we say “ei/en kusine” in the bestemt entall of both genders?   kusina eller   kusinen

  ei en tante

Bestemt form entall:   tanta eller   tanten.

  en onkel

Bestemt entall er:   onkelen.

I can already hear you asking when we use the ubestemt and bestemt forms.

We use the   ubestemt form:

1. After the article of the indefinite noun: ei, en, et, for example: ei jente, en mann, et hus.

2. When we introduce new information:

Jan skriver et brev.
Jan is writing a letter.
Jeg ser en film på TV.
I’m watching a movie on TV.

3. Always after the following words (please remember them):

a lot of (with uncountable nouns)
a lot of (with countable nouns)
Noe / noen
a little bit, some

For example:

mye vann
a lot of water
mange venner
a lot of friends
noen penger
some money

4. The ubestemt form is most often used after numbers:

Jeg har ti kroner.
I have ten krones.

5. We always find the indefinite form also in a noun following genitiv

Lizas katt.
Lisa’s cat.
Kongens datter.
King’s daughter

When do we use the bestemt form?

For the purpose of certainty, let’s compare the use of the forms ubestemt and bestemt, ok? Look:

As I have mentioned before, the ubestemt form is used when we introduce new information: Jan skriver et brev.

1. We use the bestemt form when the information is already known to us: Brevet er til Lise.

Let’s compare: Jan skriver et brev. Brevet er til Lise. – Jan is writing a letter. That letter is to Lisa. Translating a noun in the bestemt form into English, we may use ‘that, this’.

Dette er Lise. This is Lisa.
We present new information.
Lise er dattera til Emilie. Lisa is Emilie’s daughter.
we describe that Lisa is Emilie’s daughter, thus dattera is used in the bestemt form.
Dattera til
someone’s daughter

Let’s ask Jan to tell about his family.

  • - Jan, kan du fortelle om din familie? / Jan, can you tell us about your family?

Carefully listen to my story as you will clearly hear the difference in the use of the bestemt and ubestemt forms:

Jeg har en stor famile. I have a large family / or / My family is large.

Vent litt. Her er et bilde. Wait a moment. Here is a picture.

Jeg har en mamma. Mammaen min heter Hanne. Hun liker å bake kaker. I have a mother. My mother’s name is Hanne. She likes to bake cakes.

Jeg har en far. Faren min heter Elias. Han er glad i å sykle. I have a father. My father’s name is Elias. He loves to ride a bicycle.

Jeg har ei søster. Søsteren min heter Thea. I have a sister. My sister’s name is Thea.

Thea er pen, ikke sant? Thea is beautiful, isn’t she?

Ja, det er sant! Søsteren din Thea er pen! Yes, it’s true, your sister Thea is beautiful! Have you noticed that I said: søsteren din er pen – I use the bestemt form because we have talked about the sister before, right?

Jeg har en søster til. I have another sister. En søster til – another sister.

Søsteren min som har lyst hår heter Ida. My sister with blond hair is Ida.

  lyst hår
blond hair

As et hår is a neuter noun, we add the ending -t to the adjective – lyst hår.

2. Attention. We use the bestemt form when the noun in the subordinate clause is connected by ‘som’ – which – and is described more specifically, for example: søsteren som...

Søsteren som har lyst hår heter Ida.

Jeg har tre kusiner. Kusinen min som har svart hår heter Julie. Hun er så søt... / I have three cousins. The name of the cousin with black hair is Julie. She is so cute...

  svart hår
black hair

Kusinen min som har rødt hår heter Ragnhild. / The name of the cousin with red hair is Ragnhild.
Kusinen min som har krøllete hår heter Nora. / The name of the cousin with curly hair is Nora.

  krøllete hår
curly hair

Se her, Ema. Jeg har en fetter. Fetteren min heter Mathias. / Look here, Ema. I have a cousin. My cousin’s name is Mathias.

Mmmm... Fetteren din Mathias er veldig pen. / Your cousin Mathias is very handsome. I hope one day I will meet him.

Og se her, Ema, jeg har to fettere til. Fetteren min som er liten av vekst heter Kenneth. / And look here, Ema, I have two more cousins. The name of the cousin who is small in stature is Kenneth.

  liten av vekst
short stature

Fetteren min som er høy heter Markus. Han er glad i å lage mat. / The tall cousin’s name is Markus. He loves to cook.

Fetterne som står ved siden av Ragnhild bor i Tyskland. / The cousins who stand next to Ragnhild live in Germany.

  ved siden av
next to, beside

Here we encounter the exception when some nouns have irregular plural forms and the word ‘cousin’ is one of such exceptions:

Indefinite singular form (entall ubestemt)
en fetter
Definite singular form (entall bestemt)
Indefinite plural form (flertall ubestemt)
Definite plural form (flertall bestemt)

Attention: in this sentence we use the bestemt plural form – fetterne because we have talked about the cousins before (this can be understood from the previous conversation) and in this sentence we have a subordinate clause describing the cousins: som. The bestemt plural of the feminine, masculine and neuter nouns is usually made by adding the ending -ene.

Kusinene som bor i Norge heter Nora og Ragnhild. / The cousins who live in Norway are Nora and Ragnhild.

Flyvertinnen som kommer her har mye å spise! / The approaching flight attendants have a lot to offer to eat (literally), but we will say– have a lot of food!

Here, the flight attendants with food are coming. Jan is happy!

  • - Ema, skal vi ta en kopp kaffe? / Ema, shall we have a cup of coffee?
  • - Ja, gjerne det. / Yes, gladly.
  • -Jeg har lyst på et smørbrød. / I want a sandwich.
    Ema, vil du ha   et smørbrød? / Ema, do you want a sandwich?
  • - Nei, slett ikke! / No, no way!
    Jeg vil ha to sjokoladekaker. /I want two chocolate cakes.

While we are having a snack, let’s take a short break “Fakta om Norge”. Today, we will continue talking about traditional Norwegian food: do you remember I promised you to tell you what the most exotic dish of Norway is? Wait a minute. Let’s start from the beginning.

In the Norwegian cuisine, thick flour porridge – rømmegrøt is often served, which is made from milk, cream, and flour. Even during a wedding, porridge with cream is offered.

A sandwich – et smørbrød – is an inseparable part of every Norwegian’s everyday life. In the morning, pupils, students, office workers, doctors – everybody makes piles of sandwiches and take them to work or even when going for a walk.

Matpakke – this word deserves special attention. It means prepared and packaged food. Norwegians rarely have lunch in cafes as this would be too expensive. Matpakke is an excellent solution.

We need to learn another specific word as well   pålegg as the Norwegians use this word to call anything they can put on a sandwich:

  en ost
  ei en pølse
  et syltetøy

All this is called pålegg.

A hot dish in Norway is usually eaten only once per day, at lunch, which takes place rather late. The traditional Norwegian bread is hard but crispy. In some cases, the hostesses used to keep it even for half a year. However – this is a secret – if the Norwegian bread is soaked briefly in milk or buttered well – you could lick your fingers.

Other interesting Norwegian dishes:

Lefse – a potato pancake baked in a flat metal pan, covered with butter, cinnamon, sugar or flavoured with sandwich components, twisted and sectioned.

Krumkake – a waffle baked in a waffle-iron, twisted and seasoned with cloudberry berries, mousse, ice cream, and pudding.

Ølbrød – beer soup made of black, light beer, orange peel and ginger, sugar, egg yolk, flour, and milk. Butter was of particular value in the ancient times – it was a kind of monetary unit – and nicely carved pails of butter were served on a table. Huge pyramids of butter were used to decorate the bridal table.

  • - Ema, hva er klokka?
  • - Jan, den er kvart på elleve.

We need to hurry with the lesson because soon we’ll be landing in Moscow. Well, we will continue “Fakta om Norge” – about food – in the next lesson. Let’s go back to the grammar. We have talked about the bestemt forms of singular and plural nouns. Now let’s do some tasks.

Ema will tell brief episodes using a noun, and you will have to use the singular or plural bestemt or ubestemt forms. After a pause, as usual, we will help you check whether you have used the correct noun form. Lykke til, good luck.

Use the correct ‘en mann’ – a man – form:

Jeg kjenner ________. – I know the man.

Jeg kjenner en mann.

________ heter Kjell. – This man’s name is Kjell.

Mannen heter Kjell.

In the following three sentences, use the correct form of the word ‘venn’ – a friend:

I Bergen har Lise mange ________. – Lisa has a lot of friends in Bergen.

I Bergen har Lise mange venner.

Men i Stavanger har hun bare én ________. – However, she has only one friend in Stavanger.

Men i Stavanger har hun bare én venn.

________ som bor i Bergen besøker henne ofte. – Friends who live in Bergen often visit her.

Vennene som bor i Bergen besøker henne ofte.

In the following three sentences, use the correct form of the word ‘et brød’ – bread.

Hjemme spiser vi mye ________ . – We eat a lot of bread at home.

Hjemme spiser vi mye brød.

I dag kjøper jeg to ________ . – Today I am buying two loaves of bread.

I dag kjøper jeg to brød.

________ koster 30 kroner. – The bread costs 30 krones

Brødet koster 30 kroner.

How are you doing in this lesson are you confident with the use of the bestemt and ubestemt forms? Do not worry if you do not succeed immediately. Listen to the theory and examples until you understand. Tell us about your family: what are your mom and dad’s names, do you have any brothers, sisters, aunts, cousins?

Mention your friends and beloved pets. When presenting them for the first time, use the ubestemt form, and when describing later or soon after with the help of "som", use the bestemt form.

We are already landing in Moscow! Vi lander i Moskva! We are hurrying to change the planes, see you in the next lesson, på gjensyn!

  • - Ha det, vi snakkes om ei stund!