Telling time and daily activities

In an earlier lesson, we went over numbers and how to count in Norwegian. In this lesson, we’ll be focused on how to tell time in Norwegian and different daily activities.

Telling Time

One of the most useful things to know, in any language you learn, is how to tell time, whether it’s so you can meet with friends, catch a train or bus, go to the movies, etc. Let’s first look at how Norwegians break the day up into different parts.

Time of day (note: this is just a general guideline):


06.00 to 09.00


Midnight to 06.00


09.00 to 12.00




12.00 to 18.00


24 hours; one full day and night


18.00 to midnight

(Table 1)

Hva er klokka? (What time is it?)

In Norwegian, both the 12 hour clock and 24 hour clock are used, depending on the situation. Typically, the 24 hour clock is used in writing and verbally for news, appointments, schedules, etc. Hours and minutes are usually separated by a dot or colon, and sometimes also by making the minutes superscript: 13.46, 13:46, 13^46^

If using the 12 hour clock, 9am would be just “klokka ni” but for 9pm, you could add “om kvelden,” to clarify, if needed. (Note: For afternoon, it’s “på ettermiddagen”).


Klokka 7

7 om morgenen


Klokka 1

1 på ettermiddagen


Klokka 8

8 om kvelden

When the time is at the half-hour mark, Norwegians think ahead to the next hour; think of it as “halfway til.”


Halv tre


Halv seks


Halv ti

For 1 minute - 29 minutes after the hour, time can be expressed as “x minutes past x hour.” However, once it is 20 minutes after the hour, time can be expressed as “10 minutes til half x hour.”


Fem (minutter) over to



Tjuefem (minutter) over to

(rarely used)

Fem (minutter) på halv tre

For time from 31 minutes - 59 minutes after the hour, time can be expressed as “x minutes til x hour.” However, for the first ten minutes after the half hour, time can be expressed as “x minutes after half x hour.”


Tjuefem (minutter) på tre

(rarely used)

Fem (minutter) over halv tre


Fem (minutter) på tre


Usually time is rounded up or down to the nearest 5 minutes, however, if one needs to be specific about the precise time, then one can use this format:


Ni tjuefire


Tretten trettiåtte


Tjueén tolv

For quarter hours, one would use “kvart over” (quarter after) or “kvart på” (quarter til).

Norwegian English

Han ankom (kl.) kvart over ti.

He arrived at 10:15.

Festen begynner (kl.) kvart på to (om ettermiddagen).

The party begins at 13:45.

Let’s look at some more examples:

9:00 Klokka ni 9:05 (Klokka) fem (minutter) over ni


(Klokka) ti (minutter) over ni


(Klokka) kvart over ni


(Klokka) fem (minutter) på halv ti.

(note: rounded up).


(Klokka) halv ti

(Klokka) ni tjuetre.


(Klokka) fem (minutter) over halv ti


(Klokka) ti (minutter) over halv ti.


(Klokka) kvart på ti.


(Klokka) fem (minutter) på ti

(Table 2)


Prepositions can be tricky when learning a language. Here’s how prepositions are used for time in Norwegian.

Preposition Usage Example English



Jeg besøkte vennen min i går.

I visited my friend yesterday.

Hun var syk i to dager.

She was sick for two days.

Jeg spiste egg i går morges.

I ate eggs yesterday morning.

Kollegaen min har vært på ferie i tre dager.

My coworker has been on vacation for 3 days.


Emil jobber i butikken i dag.

Emil is working in the shop today.


De skal være her i to måneder.

They will be here for two months.



Jeg skal besøke bestemoren min til våren.

I will visit my grandmother this spring.


Something that occurs every time.

Jeg svømmer om sommeren.

I go swimming in the summer.

Erik drikker kaffe om morgenen.

Erik drinks coffee in the morning.


De skal være her om to måneder.

They will be here in two months.

Vi skal flytte om to dager.

We will move in two days.


Jeg så musen på tirsdag

I saw the mouse on (this past) Tuesday.


Jeg skal se vennen min på tirsdag.

I will see my friend on (this coming) Tuesday.

Something that occurs every time.

Jeg besøker faren min på tirsdager.

I visit my dad on Tuesdays.

Jeg har te med vennen min på onsdager.

I have tea with my friend on Wednesdays.


Past (but no longer happening)

Vi besøkte museet for to uker siden.

We visited the museum two weeks ago.

Emma dro til butikken for en time siden.

Emma went to the store an hour ago.

(Table 3)

If you want to express something happened the previous day, you include “går.”

Norwegian English

Jeg spiste et eple i går morges.

I ate an apple yesterday morning.

Jeg spiste et eple i går ettermiddag.

I ate an apple yesterday afternoon.

If you want to refer to something that occurred earlier in the same day, there’s a few ways to express this.

Norwegian English

Jeg spiste et eple i morges. (A bit formal, depending on dialect.)

I ate an apple (earlier) today.

Jeg spiste et eple tidligere i dag.

Jeg spiste et eple i dag tidlig.

Note: Do not confuse “i morgen tidlig” with “tidligere i morgen.” The former means “tomorrow morning.”

Other ways to refer to time periods

Time English Example English



Han kjøpte en katt sist uke.

He bought a cat last week.



Neste uke skal hun bake en kake.

Next week, she will bake a cake.



Jeg vil gjerne besøke bestemoren min denne uken.

I would like to visit my grandmother this week.


Past / Previous

I forrige uke kjøpte han en katt.

The previous week he bought a cat.

i forgårs

The day before yesterday

I forgårs kjøpte jeg en katt.

The day before yesterday, I bought a cat.

i overimorgen /

I overmorgen

The day after tomorrow

I over(i)morgen skal han bake en kake.

The day after tomorrow, he will bake a cake.

i timevis /

i flere timer

(something lasts) hours

Han har spilt spillet i timevis nå.

He has played the game for hours now.

Han har spilt spillet i flere timer nå.

på dagevis /

på flere dager

(something lasts) days

Jeg har ikke spilt spillet på dagevis.

I have not played the game in days.

Jeg har ikke spilt spillet på flere dager.

i ukevis /

i flere uker

(something lasts) weeks

Hun har vært syk i ukevis.

She has been sick for weeks.

Hun har vært syk i flere uker.

i månedsvis /

i flere måneder.

(something lasts) months

Graviditet varer i månedsvis.

Pregnancy lasts for (several) months.

Graviditet varer i flere måneder.

i årevis /

i flere år

(something lasts) many years

Jeg har ikke sett ham på årevis.

I have not seen him in many years.

Jeg har ikke sett ham på flere år.

i fjor

Last year

Anna ferierte i Italia i fjor.

Anna vacationed in Italy last year.

i tide

On time

Jeg kommer aldri i tide.

I am never on time.

(Table 4)

Phrases & Idioms

There are many different phrases that one should know when referring to time. There are also idioms that languages often have that express lengths of time.

Hva er klokka?

What time is it?

Klokka er…​

It is….(insert time)

Når åpner butikken?

What time does the store open?

Når stenger det?

When does it close?

Når starter filmen?

When does the movie start?

Når begynner det?

What time does it begin?

Når slutter det?

When does it end?

Hvor lenge varer det?

How long does it last?

Når kommer toget / bussen?

When does the train / bus arrive?

Når går toget / bussen?

When does the train / bus leave?

Er toget / flyet i tide?

Is the train / plane on time?

Er toget / flyet forsinket?

Is the train / plane delayed?

Taxien kommer om 10 minutter.

The taxi will arrive in 10 minutes.

Flyet er én time forsinket.

The flight has an hour delay.

Det tar 10 minutter.

It takes 10 minutes.

Bussen gikk for 10 minutter siden.

The bus left 10 minutes ago.

Det var en gang…​

Once upon a time

År og dag.
Vinter og vår.
År ut og år inn.

F. eks: Jeg har ikke sett deg på år og dag.

“A long time”

Ex: I haven’t seen you for a long time.

Ørten år siden

F. eks: Noen ganger leser jeg bøker jeg likte for ørten år siden, for å se om de fortsatt er gode.

Unspecified number of years ago.

Ex: “Sometimes I read books I liked years ago, to see if they are still good.”

(Table 5)

Daily Activities

Often, during conversations, we may talk about things we did that day (or the day before), for example, “Kattene mine vekket meg kl. 6 i morges.” (My cats woke me up at 6am this morning.) Here are some “daily activities” that may come up in conversations.

Å våkne opp

To wake up

Å vekke (opp)

To wake (someone else) up

Å ta en lur

To take a nap

Å re opp sengen

To make the bed

Å kle av seg

To undress oneself

Å kle på seg

To dress oneself

Å vaske seg

To wash oneself

Å bade

To bathe oneself

Å barbere seg

To shave

Å pusse tennene sine

To brush one’s teeth

Å ta på seg sokker / sko

To put on socks / shoes

Å ta på seg tøfler

To put on slippers

Å lage frokost / lunsj / middag

To make breakfast / lunch / dinner

Å lage kaffe

To make coffee

Å spise frokost

To eat breakfast

Å lese avisen

To read the newspaper

Å ta på seg en jakke / frakk

To put on a coat

Å lukke / låse døren

To close / lock the door

Å vaske klær

_To wash clothes

Å vaske opp / å ta oppvasken

To wash dishes

Å feie / moppe gulvet

To sweep / mop the floor

Å støvsuge

To vacuum

Å ta ut søppelet

To take out the garbage

Å gå tur med hunden

To walk the dog

Å løpe ærend

To run errands

Å kjøpe (daglig)varer

To buy groceries

Å tørke støv

To dust

Å vaske / rengjøre kjøkkenet

To clean the kitchen

Å vaske / rengjøre badet

To clean the bathroom

Å vaske / rengjøre / rydde stua

To clean the living room

Å vaske / rengjøre / rydde soverommet

To clean the bedroom

Å hente posten

To pick up the mail

Å gå / dra på jobb

To go to work

(Table 6)


When cooking or crafting something, you may need to take measurements. So let’s look at some measurements in Norwegian.

En åttendedel

To tredjedeler


En kvart / En fjerdedel


Trekvart / Tre fjerdedeler

En tredjedel

En-og-en-halv / Halvannen


En halv

To-og-en-halv (etc)

(Table 7)

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Exercise 1: Write out the times on these clocks.

8 clocks displaying different times

Exercise 2: Write 5 sentences; 2 of the sentences should use time periods (from table 4).