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Gender in Norwegian

So I decided to do some researching about Norwegian before starting the course, and one thing I found was that it had three genders(masculine, feminine, neuter). However, after starting the course, I'm only seeing two genders that look a lot like Swedish. Am I wrong about this whole 3 gender system, or am I learning a specific dialect of Norwegian?

August 14, 2015



There are three genders, but you can also choose to treat feminines like masculines. This is explained in the tips and notes of the very first lesson Basics. Info about definite forms in tips and notes of Basics 2 and Definites.


From my knowledge, most words in Norwegian are of masculine gender (en article) or neutral gender (et).

There is a small group of feminine gender (ei) words that can be only feminine by nature. Such as a girl, a wife, a hag, a hen, a cow. It is not completely wrong to use them with masculine article (en), but I guess it’s unusual.

Although, a mother (en mor/ ei mor) can be of masculine gender. I know, confusing.

There are also some other words, which can be of either masculine or feminine gender. For example: a book (en bok / ei bok). With these words you can stick to masculine only.

P.S: please correct me if I’m wrong.


There are two main strains of Norwegian bokmål: conservative bokmål and radical bokmål.

In radical bokmål there are three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter, so: "en gutt", "ei jente", "et hus".

In conservative bokmål, there are no feminine nouns, only masculine and neuter, so: "en gutt", "en jente", "et hus".

Conservative bokmål dominates print media, while radical bokmål is mostly spoken.


En is 'a' for masculine gendered nouns. Ei is 'a' for feminine gendered nouns, but feminine gendered nouns can also use 'en' Et is 'a' for neutral gendered nouns.

I hope this helps:) If you are still confused just ask me!


How to recognize a noun if it is masculine, feminin and neutral gender?


There are AFIK no rules. With living beings, it usually corresponds with biological gender: "en gutt" (boy, m), "ei jente" (girl, f).

But this does not work for objects: "et hus" (house, n), "ei hytte" (cottage, f).

You just have to memorize them.


I'm confused with how possessions work for the genders. So I understand when to use things like di,din,ditt,dine but how does a sentence like 'The girl is your child' use ditt? is it ditt because of the child or could you use di as well to make the girl the subject?

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