"The girl's apple"

Translation:Jentas eple

June 18, 2015



In a previous example, we had "boken til mannen" = the man's book. But, in this case, we've written "jentas eple" = the girl's apple. Is there a certain time to use "til" instead of writing "mannens bok", for example? Is "til" used when both nouns are in their definite forms?


Both of those are very common and perfectly acceptable forms. To me the '-s' genitive sounds a little better in most cases, but there are no rules governing the use of the two.

Keep in mind that the 'til'-form can be ambiguous in some cases:

"Gi eplet til jenta"
"Give the apple to the girl" (most obvious meaning)
"Give the girl's apple" (also a possibility)

There is also a third way to express ownership, which some would consider to be less proper in writing. I'd avoid it on any formal pieces of writing, because even if there is no hard rule saying you're not allowed to do so, it's arguably less elegant than the '-s' genitive. It's called garpegenitiv, and uses a possessive pronoun:

"Jenta sitt eple"
"The girl's apple"

While garpegenitiv sees less use than the other two in written form, it's still common in many spoken dialects.


The same is in my spoken dialect in the lower bavaria. You also could say "jenta sitt eple", but it is wrong in the German language. Sometimes I think the Norwegian language is more related to my dialect than other languages :-)


Thanks! I was hoping it was just a case of "use what you like or what sounds better". Good to know that the -til form can be ambiguous in some cases.


Norwegian has two ways to express belongings, the s-genitive and the prepositional genitive, just like English. I'm not aware of any grammatical reason to use one over the other.


Why is it "jentas eple" and not "jentas eplet" since there is a definite article in front?


"The possessive [placed in front of the noun] already makes it clear that it's a specific/definite [object], so the definite suffix is not needed." [source]

This is similar to how in English, you'd say "the girl's apple," forgoing a second definite article in front of "apple," but you'd say "the apple of the girl," which, like eplet til jenta, contains two definite markers.


"Pikas"?! That's the first time I've ever seen that here.


"Pike" is a less common alternative to "jente".

It's more conservative, so the feminine form is doubly rare.


"Jenta eplet sitt" is marked as incorrect, but below you offer a variant of it as an alternative form more common in spoken norsk. Is this a valid alternative, and how strong is the guidance against this form in bokmål.


I think it should be "Jenta sitt eple".

I have seen similar constructions in Universitetsavisa, also I think in the bokmål articles. It appears often with a name or acronym; maybe it clearer there than adding a single "s" to the end of a long name consisting of multiple words, and obviously better than adding extra letters to an acronym.

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