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Need some clarification on Possessive Pronouns

I know there is a comprehensive Tips & Notes section for this skill, and it was super helpful to me. There is just one concept I can't wrap my head around.

If I want to say "I love my dog", for example, I could translate that into either "Jeg elsker min hund" or " Jeg elsker hunden min", correct?

My question is: are both forms interchangeable at any given time? Because in English when I say "my dog", it does not matter if the noun is definite or indefinite (in fact, you can't really know without some additional context, but I digress). If they are not interchangeable, when do you use each forms?

Thanks for the help, and I apologize if this has been answered somewhere else, I searched for an answer and couldn't find one.

May 24, 2015



When I was in Norway, I got told that putting the pronoun first made it sound like you were the king or something... I guess it comes across as a bit posh, or, un-humble? (Ahaha, not that I think this of the Norwegian royals, they're actually pretty cool!)

I was told to stick to putting the pronoun after the noun, unless you were making a statement where the pronoun was of specific emphasis, e.g. I love MY dog (but not any other dogs.)


Yep, emphasis makes a difference. "Jeg elsker min hund" (with no emphasis or emphasis on elsker) sounds unnatural to a native speaker. "Jeg elsker min hund" (with emphasis on min) is okay.

We will always allow both ways (and sometimes a range of other exotic alternatives, none wrong, but never something you would ever hear), but we mark the most natural-sounding way as the best translation. Sometimes they are both equally natural, because you don't know where the emphasis is without context.


Great points, thanks for helping me out, it makes a lot of sense now!


They are perfectly interchangeable from a grammatical perspective. The difference is highly stylistic. "Hunden min" has a distinctly Norwegian flavor (as opposed to Danish or Swedish), however, and is more common in spoken as opposed to written Norwegian. One would find "min hund" more often in newspapers and books, but again, they are given equal weight, I'd say.


The thing is that we just say what sounds best, what we're used to saying. There are no rules behind it. For example I would say "Jeg elsker hunden min", I would NEVER say "Jeg elsker min hund" because that sounds weird. But if someone asked "Who's dog is this?" I would answer with "Det er min hund" and NOT "Det er hunden min". So it's pretty random.

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