1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Norwegian (Bokmål)
  4. >
  5. Question about the "artikler …


Question about the "artikler (en/ei/et)" in norwegian

Hei venner ! :-D

First of all : I'm not very fluent in english so.. Sorry if I make too much mistakes ! I just hope that you'll understand my request ^^

Well, I'm learning Norwegian as you can see and.. I found some difficulties with it articles.. I litteraly don't get how to use them, specifically which one to choose with each noun ! Is there a grammatical rule to follow or do we have to know which one fit with each noun ? (I hope not.. Herregud)

I've read that we use one of them depending on the grammatical gender such as, en bil (a car), et hus (a house), ei jente (a girl)... But they are three for two genders, right ? It makes me feel so stupid right now..


December 17, 2018


Sorted by top post


En can be used for both feminine and masculine nouns. (Ex. En man, en hund) If the noun combined with 'the' has an 'en' at the end, (mannen, hunden) then you can pretty much always use en.

Ei is less common, and is used specifically for feminine nouns. Feminine nouns can use en as well, and also end with 'en' most commonly. This makes them harder to distinguish. You can always still use en. (But sometimes, feminine nouns can use 'a' at the end instead of 'en' when combined with the. Ex. Boka, Jenta)

Et is for neutral nouns. (et eple, et skjerf) if it ends in 'et' when combined with the, then it's neutral and you use et.

This can be complicated, especially for new learners. (Even I have trouble with it sometimes) But don't let this discourage you! Hope this helped, sorry if I was incorrect on anything! Good luck with the Norwegian course. Happy learning!

December 17, 2018

  • 20

en man->en mann*, neutral noun->neuter noun*

December 18, 2018


Tusen takk for all these details ! It help me a lot and that reassures me to know that I'm not the only one to have trouble with it.. Haha :'D

December 18, 2018


I love your pic!

December 18, 2018


Mine ? Well, thank you :'D

December 19, 2018


Hei. I think I can help - a little. When you learn a new noun, automatically include the artical. Always! So, for example, learn the word for “dog” not just as ”hund” but as “en hund”, As if it is one word. Not just “hus” but “et hus”. Not “jente” but “ei jente”. I’ve done this from day one and rarely make a mistake. Doing it this way also has knock on effects. For example, it makes it much easier to choose the right form of an adjective to use. Ha det fint. D.

December 18, 2018


You may hear some norwegians say "ei jenta", but that's dialect. Bokmål is "ei jente" or "en jente".

December 18, 2018


Right. My mistake. I know better. Was rushing to help and didn’t proof-read my post. Thanks for catching it. D

December 18, 2018


Probably the best way to practice gender of noun is rather practicing the extended form, like if you are learning a few words like car, boat, house and door instead of memorizing this:

-en bil

-ei dør

-et hus

-en båt

ill suggest you practice like this:

-den bilEN

-den dørA

-det husET

-den båtEN

This way you will get the gender by looking at the endings wether it is EN, A or ET

Gramaticly it is like this:

Ei jente -> den jenta

En gutt -> den gutten

Et hus -> det huset

But yeah commonly many Norwegians or most say "en jente" instead of "ei jente" and that is probably because even native Norwegians struggle with this or don't pay attention. Anyway most norwegians would use the correct form jenta

Ei gardin - den gardina commony used but gramaticly incorrect (En gardin -> den gardina)

Et hus - det huset

Et speil - det speilet

En bil - den bilen

Ei dame - > den dama, commonly you may hear "en dame" but almost never "den damen"

What we can see is that feminine and masculine takes different ending -en -a when saying "this object" but on the second and more important hand the non gender objects will take the ending -et

In the end I would suggest not to stress wether it is "en or ei" to much but getting the difference between "en/ei or et "is more critical

December 29, 2018


Woah.. You got there such a good idea ! I think that's what I'm going to do too. Takk :-)

December 18, 2018


Bare hyggelig. D.

December 18, 2018


Working out the noun genders can be a challenge and you have received some great advice from other posts here.

As pointed out the three grammatical genders are: masculine (en), feminine (ei), and neuter (et). Hollie2237 also points out, feminine (ei) is less common and that feminine nouns can also use (en). Because of this feature of feminine nouns, some grammarians suggest Norwegian has two genders: common gender (en) and neuter gender (et).

You can learn the gender to every noun, and this is probably the best strategy, but you can also get Duolingo to teach you with the following strategy: 1. Assume two grammatical genders: common (en) and neuter (et) 2. If guessing always choose the common gender (en). 3. Spend time on remembering the words that are wrong when you guess (en). [These words will either be neuter (et) words or the few feminine (ei) words that must use the indefinite article (ei)]

Lykke til!

December 22, 2018
Learn Norwegian (Bokmål) in just 5 minutes a day. For free.