Adjectives (part 3)

This section on adjectives, we will cover a few challenging adjectives for learners, as well as adjectival nouns. You can find the previous lessons on adjectives here and here.

Similarity & Dissimilarity

In a previous lesson we learned how to compare things using the -ere / -est(e) endings or using “mer” and “mest.” In Norwegian, we can also compare similarity and dissimilarity between things.

Expressing similarity

Norwegian English

Like + adj:


Barna er like smarte.

The children are equally smart.

Like + adj + som:


Hun var like vennlig som hun var vakker.

She was as friendly as she was beautiful.

Samme + noun + som:

the same…as

De snakker samme dialekt som oss.

They speak the same dialect as us.


Be / look like

Han ligner på faren sin.

He is / looks like his dad.

Expressing dissimilarity

Norwegian English


Used in reference to a mutual difference

Disse skoene er forskjellige.

These shoes are different.


Used when referring to something that is different from something else.

Støvlene er annerledes enn skoene.

The boots are different than the shoes.

Annen / Annet / Andre:

Other; different

Kan du gå i noe annet enn sandaler?

Can you wear something different / other than sandals?

NOTE: "Annerledes" can also be used as an adverb.

Ex: Hvis det ikke virker, må vi gjøre det annerledes.

If it doesn’t work, then we must do it differently.

NOTE 2: Annen, Annet, Andre
Whether one uses “annen” or “annet” depends on the indefinite noun being described. “Andre” is used for definite nouns and plural nouns.

Norwegian English


Tobias kjørte en annen bil.

Tobias drove another / a different car.


Faren min bor i et annet hus.

My father lives in another / a different house.


Han kjørte den andre veien.

He drove the other way.

Onkelen min bor i det andre huset.

My uncle lives in the other house.

De andre bilene er dyre.

The other cars are expensive.

Det er andre hus til salgs.

There are other houses for sale.

NOTE: The use of annen / andre in the following examples means “second.”



Den annen / andre mai

The second of May

Dronning Elizabeth den annen / andre

Queen Elizabeth the second

Jeg går i annen / andre klasse.

I am in the second year of school.

Jeg bor i annen / andre etasje.

I live on the second floor

Notice in those examples above, annen and andre can both be used to mean “second.” However, keep in mind the following:



Den andre dagen.

The second day.
(Or “the other day” but not referring a recent event).

Forleden dag

The other day. (Only in reference to a recent event).

NOTE: Ambiguities can arise because “det / den andre” can mean both “the other” and “the second.”

Ex: De bor i det andre huset.

This can mean both:

  1. They live in the other house.

  2. They live in the second house.

Context, stress, intonation pattern can all help distinguish the difference in these sort of sentences.

Countables & Uncountables

In a previous lesson, we talked a bit about mere vs flere. There are other quantifiers in Norwegian that are used for items that can be counted and things that cannot be counted.

Let’s look at quantifiers for countable items.






Many; a lot of

Jeg har mange bøker.

I have many books.



Jeg har noen bøker.

I have some books.


Jeg har få bøker.

I have a few books.



Jeg har flere bøker.

I have several books.


No; none

Jeg har ingen bøker.

I have no books.

Here are quantifiers for uncountable items.






A lot of; much

Jeg har mye sukker.

I have a lot of sugar.



Jeg har noe sukker.

I have some sugar.


A little

Jeg har litt sukker.

I have a little sugar.

Ikke noe

No; none

Jeg har ikke noe sukker.

I have no sugar.



Jeg har mer(e) sukker.

I have more sugar.

NOTE: If you want to say someone has a lot of money (as in the total amount they have), you would say “mye penger.” However, if you mean they have a lot of coins or bills (physically), you’d use “mange penger.”

Some quantifiers have to agree in number and / or gender with the noun that it is connected to.






Masc. / Fem.





All; everything

Du har all makten.

You have all the power.

Har du alt smøret?

Do you have all of the butter?

Jeg har alle filmene.

I have all the films.




Each; every; everyone

Enhver person er annerledes.

Each person is different.

Ethvert forsøk på matlaging har feilet.

Every attempt at cooking has failed.





Hver elev leste boken.

Each student read the book.

Hvert hus hadde et basseng.

Each house had a pool.

Adjectival Nouns

Adjectival nouns are adjectives that are used like a noun. There are 3 cases in which adjectives can be used as nouns in Norwegian.

Usage Norwegian English

When the noun is omitted to avoid repetitiveness.

Jeg foretrekker norske nyheter i stedet for amerikanske (nyheter).

I prefer Norwegian news instead of American (news).

When the noun is understood when it is not mentioned.

De unge forstår ikke de gamle.

The young (people) don’t understand the old (people).

Independent use of the adjective with no noun understood.

Valget var mellom rødt og blått.

The choice was between red and blue.

Norwegian uses adjectival nouns in the definite plural the same way that English does.

Norwegian English

De fattige trenger hjelp.

The poor (people) need help.

De arbeidsløse trenger mer støtte.

The unemployed (people) need more support.

De syke håper på en kur.

The sick (people) are hoping for a cure.

De sårede ble evakuert.

The wounded (people) were evacuated.

Norwegian also uses definite adjectival nouns in the singular form.



Den uskyldige ble arresteret.

The innocent (person) was arrested.

Den anklagede sto for retten.

The accused (person) stood trial.

Plural indefinite adjectival nouns are used only for people.

Norwegian English

Det var reisende fra overalt.

There were travellers from everywhere.

Katten mjauet mens forbipasserende gikk forbi.

The cat meowed as passers-by walked past.

If the lesson was beneficial, please consider buying me a virtual coffee. Thanks.


Exercise: Write 5 sentences expressing similarity / dissimilarity and 3 sentences using adjectival nouns.