Norwegian Classroom:Genitives

Use of Genitives in Norwegian This page is about the genitive. And what’s the genitive? Answer: a grammatical form that indicates the possession of something. In English this is normally indicated by ‘s, or by a single apostrophe:

  • Lisa’s house
  • John’s car
  • James’ mother
But these phrases, let’s use the last one as an example, can also be said like this in English: The mother of James. In Norwegian an “-s” is added, as in English, but without the apostrophe. However, if the name is ending with an -s or an sound similar to s, only a single apostrophe is added, like in English. What now? Yes, the examples: Geirs mor = Geir‘s mother Annes hus = Anne‘s house Anders biler = Anders cars Note that this s-form is widely used in Norwegian, also in expressions like “The capital of Norway” (Norges hovedstad). Instead of the -s, you can add a whole word: sin. This is always optional, but can be especially useful when you are talking and the name is already ending with “-s”. If the object is of neuter gender, you don’t say “sin”, but sitt. If it’s plural you use sine. Compare with the adjective suffixes you just learned. Here you find them again, just with a double t. Geir sin mor = Geir‘s mother Anne sitt hus = Anne‘s house Anders sine biler = Anders cars
There is also a third way to express possession, which is widely used as well. It’s a bit more complex, and looks like this: Definite form of the object + “til” + The owner Mora til Geir = Geir‘s mother Huset til Anne = Anne‘s house Bilene til Anders = Anders cars An important thing to note is that this third way to express genitive can only be used when a person is the owner of the object, never in expressions like “The kingdom of Norway” and “The king of Norway”. These are special, and look like this: “Kongeriket Norge” and “Kongen av Norge / Norges konge”.]]>

Scroll to Top