Third lesson

Jeg kan snakke norsk - I can speak Norwegian. Most common professions.


Please remember what you learnt last time. Listen to Jan and repeat all of it. After repeating out loud, translate everything into English, and then answer a question. Er dere klare? - Are you ready? Let's begin!

Lesson video   


1når  when
2å burde bør  should/ I should, you should, and so on
3å fortsette  continue
4å kunne kan  to be able/ i am able/ you are able...
5å male  to paint
6å måtte må  must / have to
7å skulle skal  a subsidiary verb in making the future tense in Norwegian
8å ville vil  to want/ i want/ you want...
9at  that, in order to
10da  whereas
11ei kokke  a female cook
12eller  or
13en bonde  a farmer
14en daglig leder  a director
15en elektriker  a electrician
16en ingeniør  a engineer
17en jurist  a lawyer
18en kokk  a cook
19en lege  a doctor
20en postmann  a postman
21en prosjektleder  a project manager
22en regnskapsfører  an accountant
23en rengjøringsarbeider  a cleaner
24en sjåfør  a driver
25en student  a student
26en sveiser  a welder
27en sykepleier  a nurse
28enda selv om  though
29et brød  bread
30et yrke  profession
31for  because
32fordi  for
33hva er ditt yrke  what is your profession?
34hvis  if
35i dag  today
36kjempebra  wonderful
37litt  a little
38men  but
39og  and
40om  or, if
41siden  since then
42slik at så at  such that
43som  which
44videre  further


  • - Hei alle sammen! Hvordan går det med dere? I’m Jan, your Norwegian teacher, greeting you for the third time. You can find Norwegian lessons on our site,, anytime – either in the morning, or in the evening. Ema and I, your faithful assistants in Norwegian, hope that you‘re doing well!
  • - Hei alle sammen. Hvordan går det? Hallo, Jan, går det fint?
  • - Hallo, Ema. Det går bra, takk. Hva med deg?
  • - Ja, det går veldig bra, takk.

How are you doing? Don‘t forget to independently learn new words - lær nye ord? Maybe you study with written words on leaflets like I have mentioned earlier? And maybe you listen to Norwegian radio – høre på norsk radio or have the possibility to watch their TV shows – se på norsk TV, to listen to Norwegian songs – høre norske sanger? It‘s very helpfull if you do it! If you don‘t have such possibilities, listen to lessons as often as you can, and you‘ll learn proper and beautiful Norwegian language.

Learn new words
  lær nye ord
Listen to Norwegian radio
  høre på norsk radio
Watch Norwegian TV shows
  se på norsk TV
Listen to Norwegian songs
  høre norske sanger

Today is the third lesson. Do you remember, how to say „three“ in Norwegian? We have learned numbers in the previous lesson. Right, tre. Veldig bra. Today – in Norwegian – i dag, yes,   i dag, we‘ll continue to learn modal verbs, learn conjunctions, and widen our Norwegian vocabulary by names of professions.

In the second lesson we learned one modal verb   å kunne - to be able.

The present tense of modal verbs should be learned by heart, because, differently from the majority, it isn‘t made by adding the ending -r to the infinitive. When the infinitive goes after a verb, it is used without particle å.

For instance, jeg kan snakke norsk – I can speak Norwegian. We don‘t say: jeg kan å snakke norsk. Let‘s repeat together: jeg kan snakke norsk.

å kunne
to be able
jeg kan snakke norsk
I can speak Norwegian

It‘s useful for us to learn those verbs, because then we will be able to form many more questions, and make ourselves understood easier.

  • - Ema, kan du hjelpe oss med modale verb? Ema, can you help us with modal verbs?
  • - Ja, jeg kan hjelpe.
  • - So, here you can see other modal verbs:
å ville
to want
I want, you want, and so on
  å ville vil

å kunne
to be able
I am able, you are able, and so on
  å kunne kan

  å skulle skal

Å skulle – skal - a subsidiary verb in making the future tense in Norwegian. We‘ll talk about it in oncoming lessons.

å måtte
must/ have to
I must, you must, and so on
  å måtte må

å burde
I should, you should, and so on
  å burde bør

These verbs are also called ,,hjelpeverb“ - subsidiary verbs, because with their help perfektum and futurum tenses are made in Norwegian. We‘ll talk about them in later lessons.

Modal verbs say how somebody makes something, or how somebody acts. They cannot stand alone in a sentence. Their purpose is to „help“ the main verb.


Jeg vil se på TV.
I want to watch TV

As you can see, „vil“ is helping the verb „se“: jeg vil se. Let‘s repeat with Ema:

  • - Jeg vil se på TV.

Let‘s try to make sentences with other modal verbs, with the purpose to memorize them better. Another modal verb is å kunne (to be able) – kan (I am able, you are able, and so on) . Example: Jeg kan male.

  • - Jan says that he can paint.
  å male
to paint
Jeg maler
I paint
Jeg kan male
I can paint
  • - And I am not really able to paint, so I'll say what I can do:
Jeg kan bake brød.
I can bake some bread.
  et brød
a noun of neuter gender, meaning „bread“

Just say what you can do. Think a little, I am waiting. I hope you were bold and showed off your skills, and told more than one sentence with the modal verb å kunne – kan . Veldig bra! I'm proud of you!

Do you remember, which modal verbs are left? Perhaps not  I‘ll remind you: å skulle – skal . That is a subsidiary verb, used in making future tense in Norwegian. If we say, for instance, jeg skal male, it will mean „I will paint“. How wonderful, now we will be able to express our intentions in future tense, when we want to say what we plan to do! Look:

Jeg skal gå.
I will go.
Du skal gå.
You have to / must go.
  • - Veldig bra. Let‘s go on.

Another modal verb, which we are going to learn, is å måtte (must/have to) – må (I must, you must, and so on). Å måtte – må. Let‘s listen, to a sentence Jan has made with this verb.

  • - Jan, skal du hjelpe oss? Jan, will you help us?
  • - Ja. Jeg kan hjelpe og jeg skal hjelpe. Jeg må tenke litt.
  • -   kjempebra! Wonderful, we have just heard Jan say three sentences with modal verbs: jeg kan hjelpe, jeg skal hjelpe, jeg må tenke.

Say, what does this mean: jeg kan hjelpe - I can help - jeg kan hjelpe. Right! And what does this mean: jeg skal hjelpe. Yes, it means „I will help“. Fint! And: jeg må tenke litt – I must / I have to think a little. Jeg må tenke litt.   litt, as you have understood already, means „a little“.

  jeg kan hjelpe
I can help
  jeg skal hjelpe
I will help
  jeg må tenke litt
I must / I have to think a little
  • - Vel, vi må fortsette videre. We must continue further.   å fortsette – continue. Videre – further. Vi må fortsette videre.
Vi må fortsette videre.
We must continue further.
  å fortsette

Another modal verb is å burde (should) – bør (I should)

Jeg bør snakke norsk.
I should speak Norwegian.
  • - Ema, what example with å burde – bør will you give?
  • - Jeg bør hjelpe.
Jeg bør hjelpe.
I should help.
  • - Veldig bra, takk skal du ha, Ema.

So we have already looked through the modal verbs. Let‘s rest a bit from grammar and learn some names of professions, and also, how to ask what the person you meet does in life. When wanting to know what a particular person does, we ask:

  hva er ditt yrke?
What is your profession?
  et yrke
a noun of neuter gender, meaning ,,profession“.
  • - Let‘s repeat together: Hva er ditt yrke?
  • - And I respond: jeg er norsk lærer – I am a Norwegian language teacher. Jeg er norsk lærer. Jan, hva er ditt yrke?
  • - Jeg er maler. – I am a painter.

Do you remember, today we have learned a new verb: å male – to paint. Å male – to paint, en maler – a painter. Remember the lesson about noun genders? Yes? Then tell me, how do you say “a painter” in Norwegian? Think, I‘m waiting. „A painter“ in Norwegian would be: ei maler. Or en maler – yes, right, we can use both articles, but if you want to stress that you are a painter of a feminine gender, then you will have to say: ei maler.

When specifying your profession, you don‘t need to use an article. For instance, we say: Jeg er maler. You can name a profession of desired gender by adding the article „en“ for the masculine gender, or „ei“ – for the feminine one. Since there is another rule, that in most cases you can use the article of masculine gender for feminine gender, feel free to do so.

Still, in some cases the titles of professions of women and men differ, for instance:

  en kokk
a cook
  ei kokke
a female cook

Remember, that the article is not used in a sentence describing profession, for instance: Jeg er kokke – I am a cook. Is it clear? So, repeat after me:

  en ingeniør
An engineer
  en sveiser
A welder
  en daglig leder
A director
  en sjåfør
A driver
  en kokk
A cook
  ei kokke
A female cook
  en sykepleier
A nurse
  en lege
A doctor
  en regnskapsfører
An accountant
  en rengjøringsarbeider
A cleaner
  en elektriker
An electrician
  en prosjektleder
A project manager
  en jurist
A lawyer
  en bonde
A farmer
  en postmann
A postman
  en student
A student

We will ask Ema to help us do an exercise: I‘ll describe a profession in English, and after a short pause – in Norwegian. You listen and try to say in Norwegian what the profession is, OK?

If you manage to concentrate well, repeat the profession’s description in Norwegian. After a pause, Ema will help to check if you guessed it correctly. Don‘t forget to repeat the profession title together with her. Ready? Er dere klare? Let‘s try.

I can paint.
Jeg kan male.
Jeg er maler.
I can weld.
Jeg kan sveise.
Jeg er sveiser.
I can draw.
Jeg kan tegne.
Jeg er ingeniør.
I can drive.
Jeg kan kjøre.
Jeg er sjåfør.

Pay attention to the pronunciation of the word kjøre. Jeg kan kjøre. So do you know what this profession is called?

I can heal.
Jeg kan behandle.
Jeg er lege.
I can count.
Jeg kan regne.
Jeg er regnskapsfører.
I can farm.
Jeg kan dyrke jorden.
Jeg er bonde.
I can work with electrical equipment.
Jeg kan arbeide på elektriske installasjoner.
Jeg er elektriker.
I can deliver mail.
Jeg kan levere post.
Jeg er postmann.
I can study.
Jeg kan studere.
Jeg er student.
I can manage a company.
Jeg kan lede en bedrift.
Jeg er daglig leder.
I can provide legal assistance.
Jeg kan yte rettshjelp.
Jeg er jurist.
I can manage a project.
Jeg kan lede et prosjekt.
Jeg er prosjektleder.
I can cook.
Jeg kan lage mat.
Jeg er kokk. Eller: jeg er kokke.
I can help patients.
Jeg kan hjelpe syke mennesker.
Jeg er sykepleier.
I can make things clean.
Jeg kan gjøre rent.
Jeg er rengjøringsarbeider.

Så fint! How wonderful! Dere er veldig flinke! This exercise wasn‘t easy, but you were great at profession titles! When learning them you may have even forgotten how to ask a person about his profession. No? Yes, we ask exactly this way: Hva er ditt yrke? And if I ask you: hva er ditt yrke? What will you answer? Fint! Moreover, try to say what you can do as a representative of your profession. Let‘s begin: Jeg kan... Did you do it? Bra!

We're getting to the end of the lesson, so let‘s learn some Norwegian conjunctions ,,konjunksjoner“, that's the words „and, or, if, though“, and so on. We need them very much, just so we can make fluent and beautiful sentences.

  • - Er ikke det sant, Jan? Isn’t that right, Jan?
  • - Ja, det er sant. Konjunksjoner er veldig viktig.
  • - Yes, konjuksjoner er veldig viktig. So, let‘s begin. La oss begynne:
That, in order to
  slik at så at
Such that
Since then
Or, if
  enda, selv om
As, while

So we have just learned some conjunctions - konjunksjoner. Today I‘ll give you homework to learn them by heart. We‘ll need them in the next lesson

We hope that you have fun learning Norwegian together with Ema and me. We will help you to learn beautiful and proper Norwegian language! Even as of today you know quite a bit, so we are going to continue lessons with joy. Ha det bra alle sammen, vi høres neste gang. Goodbye to you all!

  • - Ha det bra alle sammen!


Test your knowledge

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