Possessive pronouns with an adjective

Hi there,

I know there are two ways to write possessive pronouns with their noun. For example, "my car" can be written:

"bilen min" or "min bil"

But when introducing an adjective into the mix, I'm having trouble finding the correct form. Mainly with the second (indefinite) form. For example, I believe the definite from of "my new car" is :

"den nye bilen min" (please correct me if I'm wrong)

But is the indefinite:

"min ny bil" or "min nye bil"

Aka is the adjective singular or plural (or can it be either)?

Also, does the general rule still apply -- saying the pronoun after the adjective/noun combo is more common, whereas before the combo is more for emphasizing possession for that thing?

Tusen takk!!

January 6, 2018

  • 185

Hi, Bender!

First things first, when a noun is modified by a possessive, it is always definite in the sense that it has been defined. The noun may be in its indefinite form when it follows the possessive, but it's still definite in meaning, and can take a definite adjective.

However, Norwegian adjectives do get a little tricky in the definite singular:

If it's an attributive adjective, i.e. an adjective placed before the noun, you use the definite form of the adjective - which is identical to the plural form.

"den nye bilen min"
"the new car of mine"

"min nye bil"
"my new car"

If it's a predicate adjective, i.e. an adjective placed after the noun, you stick with the indefinite singular form, which is gender dependant.

"Bilen min er ny."
"Min bil er ny."
"My car is new."

If the noun is plural, you use the plural form, which is identical to the one you use for definite singular attributive adjectives. It doesn't matter if it's indefinite or definite, masculine or neuter, it's "nye" regardless.

January 6, 2018

Oh, perfect! That makes it clear!

And would you say one of those two ways -- "den nye bilen min" vs "min nye bil" -- is more common than the other? And do they have different implications/emphasis as I mentioned above?

January 7, 2018
  • 185

I would say "min nye bil" is more common, simply because it's a word shorter and we're lazy.

This, of course, means you shouldn't read too much into the word order when the noun is modified by an adjective in addition to a possessive.

January 16, 2018

Awesome. Tusen takk!!

January 26, 2018
  • 185

Bare hyggelig! :)

January 26, 2018
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