https://www.duolingo.com/holy_crusader04

When to use 'en' or 'et'

So this has been confusing me. It seems pretty arbitrary where you would use the word 'en' or 'et', like 'et eple' or 'en appelsin'. What's the pattern here? Does anybody know? Thanks in advance.

1 month ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/weerwater
weerwater
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You missed this? Tips and Notes

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OlavMykleb
OlavMykleb
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In Norwegian Bokmål, nouns kan have 3 genders: masculine (m), feminine (f), or neutral (n). Eple is a (n). Appelsin can be either (m) or (f). (En appelsin/ei appelsin)

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/holy_crusader04

I get that part, but I don't get the difference between et and en

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peter-A
Peter-A
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"et" is used before neuter nouns and "en" is used before masculine nouns.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/holy_crusader04

Ah. That makes sense I guess. But would that make 'appelsin' masculine? I mean, you use em in front of it

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fehrerdef
fehrerdef
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No, there are no clues. You just have to learn it for every word.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adrian442793

Ok, I have very limited knowledge of Norwegian, but from what I've seen so far there are some patterns, but not many. Most of the time, you've just got to learn what genders things are.

First pattern: things that are obviously masculine/feminine. So, an aunt is feminine, a father is masculine. I think most animals tend to be masculine (but turtle, skilpadde, is feminine). Most professions (like "lege", doctor) tend to be male.

Second pattern: when you have a compound word, the gender of the word as a whole tends to be the gender of the last word in the compound, but there are exceptions. For instance, "et skap" is a cupboard and is neuter, and "et kjoleSKAP" (a fridge) is also neuter. But though "tid" (time) is feminine, "malTID" (a meal) is neuter.

Other patterns.... This is from The book "Mysteriet Om Nils" Part 2:

Nouns formed from verbs

-- There are some words that are formed by dropping the "e" from the infinitive of the verb, and replacing it with "-ing". These are all feminine. Example: "ei svomming" (swimming) from "a svomme".

-- There are others that are formed by just losing the "-e". These are all neuter. For instance, "et arbeid" (work) from "a arbeide".

-- There are others that are formed with the ending "-else". These are all masculine. Example: "en endelse" (from "a ende") and "en overraskelse" (from "a overraske").

Nouns formed from adjectives

-- Some have the ending "-het". These are all masculine. Example: "en sikkerhet" from "sikker" (sure).

-- Some have the ending "dom". These are all masculine also. Example: "ungdom" from "ung" (young).

Nouns from nouns

Some nouns get an abstract form from a concrete word by adding "-skap". These are often neuter, but not always. Example: "en venn" gives "et vennskap", but "en egenkap".

2 days ago
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