"Er du ei jente?"

Translation:Are you a girl?

May 1, 2016

This discussion is locked.


It says in the notes that it's not necessary to enforce grammatical gender in most dialects of Norwegian, when you do specify 'ei' are you putting emphasis on how female it is? like 'Er du ei jente' like to stress being not a boy?


It doesn't emphasize anything really, the rule is simply that feminine nouns may be inflected as masculine, so you can say either "Er du en jente" or "Er du ei jente", depending on the dialect. There is no difference between them.


So basically girls can be masculine but boys etc cannot be feminine... ;-) ?


I'm sure you're making a joke, but in case anyone is wondering: grammatical genders have no* relation to the gender of a person/animal. The feminine inflection is simply disappearing, and is being replaced by the masculine gender, just like it has happened in Swedish and Danish.

*there are a few exceptions of course.


Very interesting! Thank you. I teach German and there you have three genders. I don't see any one of them disappearing!


This might be a bit sidetracked, but I happen to speak Indonesian which has no distinction for genders. Not to mention for things, even 'he' and 'she' translate to one word: dia. You can try the lessons in Duolingo as well to see how fun the languange can be to those speaking European languages, since it's the exact opposite (German, for example, is very precise while Indonesian is quite ambiguous). Have fun learning! ^^


It's really the opposite in german. You HAVE to include male and female gender in texts as to not offend anyone. You cannot say "Liebe Ärzte" (Dear doctors), you have to say "Liebe Ärztinnen und Ärzte" (Dear female doctors and male doctors).


"grammatical genders have no* relation to the gender of a person/animal" - the best illustration for this I've seen so far is neuter gender for girl in German (das Mädchen)


That's actually because of the -chen suffix, which makes the diminutive form of "Magd/Mäd" (maid), so it means "little maid". As with most languages, the end of the word determines the gender, and -chen diminutives are always neuter :)

[deactivated user]

    It's common gender, not masculine. You still have to call a girl "hun", not "han".


    I think Duolingo uses both ei and en for us to be aware of the existence of both.


    My guess the reason why they put ei in there is for you to learn it, even if you can replace it with en.


    Indeed. We think it very important for our students to learn the feminine forms, even if they choose not to use them in their own speech or writing.

    Imagine coming across them outside of Duo after having finished the course, and not knowing what they were! Now that would be embarrassing, both for the learner and for me personally. ;)


    Thank you for the well thought out lessons. <3


    In formal/business language, is the custom to use the "ei" for feminine nouns?


    It's less common, but not unheard of.

    "Ei jente" is a particularly strong feminine noun, meaning that it's more likely than other feminine nouns to retain its feminine form in formal language, or in dialects that aren't known to use many feminine forms.


    That's definitely good to know!


    I guess one kind of feels it's necessary that word


    what's the difference between jenta and jente?

    • "(en/ei) jente" is the indefinite singular: "a girl".
    • "jenta" is the feminine version of the definite singular: "the girl".


    My family in Østfold uses the feminine gender, so I am dedicated to learning it.


    What's the difference between ei and et and en?


    They're used with nouns of different grammatical genders:

    en: masculine and feminine
    ei: feminine
    et: neuter

    As you can see, you have the option of using either "en" or "ei" with feminine nouns.


    Bare hyggelig. :)


    "En" was false to me :( But it's very interesting, I had never met "ei" before


    If you wrote "Er du en jente" and it wasn't accepted, then report it using the flag icon.



    The same happened to me as well. I will report it too, thankyou Robbadob for the tip.



    How exactly does one pronounce "ei" in this case?


    To me it sounds like "eye"

    [deactivated user]

      Correct IPA pronunciation is /æɪ/.

      Listen to these pronunciations of the words ei mus (a mouse) and ei adresse (an address) in Norwegian.

      Click here to view more information about IPA symbols and sounds.


      The e seems almost silent to me


      About all these differences and questions above. Does it have some conection to Bokmål and Nynorsk?


      In Nynorsk, feminine nouns always follow a feminine declination pattern. It's only in Bokmål you have the option of treating them as if they were masculine.


      Can en be used in this


      Yes, jente is able to be treated like a masculine noun. Either "ei jente" and "en jente" are good, and it's mainly down to personal preference and dialect in Bokmål. In Nynorsk, though, jente is always feminine.



      After listening to it several times by several people it says" jenta" not "jente"

      [deactivated user]

        This is not a faulty pronunciation although it can happen sometimes because the sounds are produced by a bot, not a human being.

        Jenta is pronounced /jɛntɑ/, while jente is pronounced /jɛntə/. The ə is similar to a diminished "uhhhh" sound that happens when you can't remember what to say next in a conversation, just like SpongeBob in this video. Also, it definitely sounds different than ɑ.

        When listening to spoken Norwegian, pay attention to the presence of the indefinite article to help yourself in differentiating en/ei jente from jenta. Mark the fact that en/ei jenta doesn't exist.

        On the discussion page, you can also click the word itself to isolate it from the rest of the sentence (Duolingo will take you to the dictionary page). Compare these two - jenta and jente.

        Click here to hear what IPA symbols sound like. Follow these links for Forvo pronunciations ( en jente, jenta ).


        So just to clarify... "Er du en jente" is defnitely not wrong. Is that right?


        Correct. In norwegian, every feminine noun can be used as a masculine noun (but not the other way round! "Ei gutt" is wrong!).


        Why its written ei? It could be en


        Correct. In norwegian, every feminine noun can be used as a masculine noun (but not the other way round! "Ei gutt" is wrong!).

        There are certain words that seem to be used primarily with the feminine article, like kvinne and jente. I've also seen "brua" (the bridge) more often than "bruen".


        Sigo sin entender bien la diferencia, bueno


        Qué es lo que no entiendes?


        Basicamente ei es exclusivamente femenino, pero está siendo reemplazado por el EN que es masculino y femenino a la vez. Lo acabo de leer jaja


        I failed this with har du jeg jenta... Can anyone explain?


        "Jeg" is the first person pronoun "I". It cannot be used as an indefinite article.


        "Har du jeg jenta?" means "Do you have I the girl?". It should be "Er du ei/en jente?". If you got this as a listening exercise, the two sentences are definitely pronounced differently, you just have to pick up the different sounds with practice (plus context clues and common sense).


        [deactivated user]

          As others have already stated, you also need to think about proper syntax and be sure the sentence sounds meaningful before entering words you think you may have heard. Below are the IPA pronunciations and differences between the correct sentence and your amalgamation.

          • har vs er

            /hɑːɾ/ vs /æɾ/

          • jeg vs ei

            /jæɪ̯/ vs /æɪ/

          • jenta vs jente

            /jɛntɑ/ vs /jɛntə/

          Click here to listen to IPA symbols being pronounced.


          'A girl' is 'En jente' in Norsk. Then why does 'Are you a girl?' translate to 'Er du ei jente?' Going by the previous translation, it should have been 'Er du en jente?' Any help is appreciated..


          You can say both "ei jente" and "en jente"


          So i have a huge question i am confused on. So i have been making a norwegian learning journal for me to study with and i first made a section for the parts of speech and i started with nouns and articles, anyway the question is could i use "et" instead of en or ei when using a indefinite article such as "er du et jente"? Another question i have is when im using a definite article in a sentance such as " har du boken" which translates to "do you have the book" could i use "-et" at the end of "boken" such as "boket" since you do not need to enforce grammatical gender?


          No. While en and ei can both be used for feminine nouns, neuter nouns always call for "et" to be used. So, "Er du en jente" is correct, as is "er du ei jente". "Er du et jente" is wrong. Same goes for bok. Boka and boken are correct, boket is wrong.

          I don't know where you got the notion that "you do not need to enforce grammatical gender", but I suggest you forget about it as soon as possible. ONLY feminine nouns can be used with either masculine or feminine articles, but NEVER with the neuter article. Every other noun MUST be used with the article that the gender requires!


          Can someone help me understand 'ei' vs 'en'?


          ei is for feminine nouns, en is for masculine nouns, et is for neuter nouns. You have to learn which nouns have which grammatical gender, as it's not possible to know just by looking at it.

          Note that in bokmål, every feminine noun can be used with masculine articles, but not the other way round (for example "ei jente" and "en jente" are both correct, but "ei gutt" is always wrong).


          If one can say "ei jente" and "en jente", does that mean that both "jenta" and "jenten" are correct?


          Yes. In bokmål, every feminine noun can be used with masculine articles.

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