"Han er et barn."

Translation:He is a child.

May 31, 2015



Did anyone else here 'hun' instead of 'han'? I typed 'hun' and got it wrong. Is it just me?


It doesn't sound like 'hun' to my native ear, but differentiating between unfamiliar sounds is always a challenge when you start out learning a new language. It's something that works itself out with more listening practice. :)


I'd recomend keeping notes so you get them all right :)


I have trouble distinguishing them too. I guess it'll get easier the more we practice.


I wish the audio would be clearer


Agreed - I'm having to re-listen because the "n" in most words sounds like "m" and it's throwing me off.


You can put it slower


When to use et and when to use en?


Every noun (cat, dog, boy, girl, etc.) in Norwegian has a grammatical gender (unrelated to any actual gender that the noun-object might be).


Strictly speaking there are three grammatical genders in Norwegian:

(m) masculine - hankjønn (male gender) - en gutt
(f) feminine- hunkjønn (female gender) - ei jente
(n) neuter- intetkjønn (no gender) - et barn

However, since practically every feminine (f) noun can also be used as a masculine (m) noun, language courses often blend masculine (m) and feminine (f) into what is called felleskjønn (common gender). Duolingo sometimes uses the three-gender system, and other times it uses the two-gender system.

common gender - en gutt - en jente
neuter - et barn

So that said: You use
en with masculine nouns
ei with feminine nouns
et with neuter nouns

en with common gender nouns (a merge of masculine and feminine nouns)
et with neuter nouns

The grammatical gender of the noun will determine how the noun looks when it is in plural, or how the English "the" will translate (or in other words how to inflect the noun). It will also change how pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, etc...) and adjectives (red, blue, good, bad, easy, confusing, etc...) and adverbs (slowly, quickly, etc...) will look. So you need to remember the noun's grammatical gender.

Unfortunately the grammatical gender of a noun is something you just have to memorize (there are some complex rules with a lot of exceptions in each case, but a proper grammar book is your best bet if you are really curious), so instead of thinking "boy" is "gutt" and "girl" is "jente" and "child" is "barn", memorize them with the gender article in front.

So think and memorize it as "en gutt", "ei jente", "et barn", "et eple", and so on.

If you really can't remember the gender and have to guess, guess en and you will be correct majority of the time.


I love your explanation! Thank you!


Thanks a lot for the explanation, it makes a lot of things easier :)


Thank you so much ❤❤❤


I've heard: "Han har et barn." -> He has a child. "Har" and "er" sounds pretty similar to me. :(

[deactivated user]

    Yes, the non-turtle version didn't enunciate enough for my taste but the turtle is there to help. The more we surround ourselves with Norwegian, the better our ears will become at differentiating similar sounds.


    For northerners and scots: Barn = Bairn


    Just starting out. Is the "r" not tapped when followed by a consonant like "n"? "Barn" here sounds just like how Americans pronounce it to my ears.

    [deactivated user]

      You ears haven't forsaken you! When r comes before d, t, s, n and l regardless whether it's touching them or not, it's pushed to the back of the throat becoming a so-called retroflex approximant "ɻ". In the case of barn, to make the pronunciation of the following letter easier, r also pulls the "n" backwards so it becomes the velar nasal "ŋ" (otherwise, it sounds as the alveolar nasal "n").

      Follow this link and click on ɻ and ŋ to hear these particular sounds.


      Guys, I typed 'Hun har et barn' and it said "you typed in English not Norwegian". Has this happened to you?


      I'm writing what i hear in Norwegian and its saying I'm writing in English. And i can't move forward with this.


      Is there a pattern to which words are en words(en gutt) and which are ett words(et eple)?


      "En" is the masculine version of a/an. "Ei" is the Feminine version. "Et" is the neuter version. However, sometimes there is something, such as "a book" which is "en bok", where a book doesn't have a gender, but still uses the male version. So, if you ever have to guess at which one to use, choose "en". In most cases, "ei" can be swapped for "en".

      [deactivated user]

        I have some things to add to your answer.

        Every noun in Norwegian is assigned one of the three genders which means you won't find rebels in this division. Bok is of feminine gender (link to a dictionary page) which means it can take the feminine indefinite article ei, or the masculine en and still be considered correct. All feminine nouns can be treated as if they were of masculine gender. The advice on guessing is sound.

        As to whether a pattern exists, the answer is a solid no although there are some rules that mostly pertain to loanwords. Take a look at this recent forum post to learn more.

        Also, ett is the cardinal number one [1] which is used with neuter nouns like in Jeg har ett eple (I have one apple) and not the indefinite article.

        @HIM97, you should have read @noko_heilt_anna's comment thoroughly as it would have given you all the answers.

        P.S. In the future, read all the comments before asking similar questions in order to keep the discussion page easier to navigate and, thus, more effective in helping others.


        I am puerto rican, so for some reason or another my spanish is helping me learn this language faster. The pronounciations both silent and pronounced are kinda similiar i cant explain it...


        The translation I got for "Hun er et barn" was "he is a child" should it not be "Han er et barn?"


        Yeah i would think so too because Han is "he" while Hun is "she".


        I thought this was "Hun er et barn," and duo lingo marked me as correct, but it said that the translation was "He is a child." The translation should be "She is a child."


        I thought it was "Hun er et barn," and Duolingo marked me as correct, but the translation noted was "He is a child." It should be, "She is a child."

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