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  5. "A hungry animal is eating my…

"A hungry animal is eating my child's clothes."

Translation:Et sultent dyr spiser klærne til barnet mitt.

September 15, 2015



Is this sentence not saying 'the clothes of my child'? How would you say 'my child's clothes'?


'Mitt barns klær' will do. It is also possible to say 'mitt barn sine klær' with the same meaning ('sine' changes with the noun, i.e. 'mitt barn sitt rom', 'mitt barn sin bok'), however the entire statement requires a confirmation from native speakers. I have never met the reflexive possessive expressions "in the wild" except short mentions in reference books on norwegian grammar.

  • 492

The second structure you mention is called garpegenitiv. It's generally not considered good form in writing, perhaps because it doesn't exist in Danish, which used to be the language of the upper classes, but it's still acceptable, and sometimes advisable. When the owned noun already ends in an -s (or s sound) before being turned into a genitive, using garpegenitiv can add clarity and ease of pronunciation:

Anders sin bok

It also sees some use when what's owned is a longer unit, for the same reasons:

de eldre norskelevene på Duolingo sine lærevaner

Outside of those two contexts, it's rare in written language.

An interesting article in Nynorsk:


As usual you have found the right words to make things simple and clear. Thank you! As for the article I made a couple of honest attempts to read it but haven't made it to the end. It takes a good deal of intuition to see and recognize that eigeren==eieren or mykje==mye let alone the need to reread each sentence twice or thrice in order to make sense of it for myself )

  • 492

Bare hyggelig!

Like with most things, it gets more intuitive with practice and exposure. On the bright side, Bokmål might now feel easier in comparison. :)


A dingo took my baby('s clothes?)


thats very typical in Norway.... ;D


So "Et sultent dyr spiser barnet mitt klær" is unacceptable?

  • 492

Yes, but you could say "...mitt barns klær" or "...barnet mitt sine klær".


Can't one say "Barnet mitts klær"? It just sounds like the most direct translation to me...

  • 492

You can't add a genitive -s to a possessive pronoun.


I got tripped up the same way as you. Love these kinds of sentences though. Lots of interesting syntax to contrast with English.


Is "... barna mi" also correct?


I don't think so because it's "et barn," and "barna" is plural. Since the mi and the -a ending for creating the definite are both feminine, this would not also be correct.


Yep, you are right. Thanks for replying!


Must be either a very hungry animal or delicious clothes....

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