Norwegian Language Blog

100 Most Common Written Words in Norwegian Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Uncategorized


What, no SKI in the list?!

Is it possible to learn Norwegian in 3 months? The popular ”alternative life-style guru” Tim Ferriss thinks so. Well, if you spent 3 months doing nothing but studying grammar and hanging out at Norwegian après-ski, then maybe… In my experience, though, a language is more like a tree that is gradually spreading its branches in your mind. Learning the basic structure may be a matter of months. Real mastery usually takes years. Nevertheless, Ferriss has a great idea that might help you getting there quicker: Start learning the 100 most frequently written words! They may make up as much as one half of a typical text. So, here they are:

  Word Meaning
1 og and
2 i in
3 det that/it
4 on/in
5 som that/which/who (Relative pronoun, as in ”The dog that yelled.”)
6 er is/are
7 en a(n)/one
8 til To (As in: ”To the train station!”)
9 å to (As in: ”To be.”)
10 han he
11 av of
12 for for
13 med with
14 at that (As in: ”I told you that I wanted to…”)
15 var was/were
16 de they
17 ikke not
18 den that one
19 har has/have
20 jeg I
21 om about
22 et a(n)/one
23 men but
24 saw//so/then (As in: ”She saw a squirrel. It was so cute.”)
25 seg herself/himself/themselves (Reflexive pronoun, as in: ”They washed themselves.”)
26 hun she
27 hadde had
28 fra from
29 vi we
30 du you
31 kan can/may
32 da then
33 ble became/got/was/were (Transition from one state to another, as in: ”He was fired. She got mad.”)
34 ut out
35 skal has to/have to
36 vil will/want(s)
37 ham him
38 etter after
39 over over/above
40 ved at (As in: ”They found her at the gate.”)
41 også too
42 bare only/just
43 eller or
44 sa said
45 now
46 dette this/this one
47 noe something
48 være be (As in: ”To be.”)
49 meg me
50 mot against//courage (As in: ”They showed great courage in the war against the Prussians.”)
51 opp up
52 der there
53 når when
54 inn in (As in: ”Come in!”)
55 dem them
56 kunne could
57 andre others
58 blir become/becomes/get/gets/am/is/are (Transition from one state to another, as in: ”He is fired. She gets mad.”)
59 alle everybody/all people
60 noen some/somebody/someone
61 sin his (own)/her (own)/their (own) (Reflexive pronoun, as in: ”She found her (own) umbrella.”)
62 ha have (As in: ”It’s nice to have a good friend.”)
63 år year(s)
64 henne her (as in: ”Have you even talked to her?”)
65 must
66 selv self/himself/herself/themselves/myself/ourselves/youself/youselves
67 sier say(s)
68 Few//receive/get (As in: ”Very few people want to receive less.”)
69 kom come!//came
70 denne this/this one
71 enn than
72 to two
73 hans his
74 bli become/get (Transition from one state to another, as in: ”What does it take to become a doctor?”)
75 ville would
76 før before
77 vært been
78 skulle should
79 går goes/go
80 her here
81 slik thus/like this/in this way
82 gikk went
83 mer more
84 hva what
85 igjen again
86 fikk got/received
87 man one/you (As in: ”You never know.”)
88 alt all/everything
89 mange many
90 ingen nobody/no one/no (As in: ”No man is an island.”)
91 får get/gets/receive/receives
92 oss us
93 hvor where
94 under under/below
95 siden since
96 hele whole
97 dag day
98 gang time//corridor (As in: ”This time I’ll enter the corridor on my own.”)
99 sammen together
100 ned down


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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.


  1. Izabela:

    It is really helpful, thank you 🙂

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Izabela Thanks for the compliment, much appreciated! 🙂

  2. Adam Dowrick:

    This is just brilliant! I start work in Trondheim in four weeks and whilst my reading and pronunciation of Norwegian is quite good, I worry that my vocabulary for speaking is too small. This list has given me something to focus my language study efforts on for the next few weeks. Thanks for posting this very helpful list.

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Adam Dowrick Hei Adam, I’m happy that you found the blog useful! Lykke til i Norge! 🙂

  3. Adam Elmasry:

    Thank you allot for this intelligent idea it’s will be very helpful for peoples like me need to learn norsk ,, I’m New here in Norway so this list will help me allot so thank you again and god bless you brother .

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Adam Elmasry @Adam – Takk så mye! Good luck in Norway! 🙂

  4. Sven:

    Hei Bjørn,

    dette er en kjempebra oversikt. Jeg som er tysk og som lærer tysk har funnet en liste med de viktigste 125 Norwegian ord som kan brukes hvis man kommer fra Tyskland ( )
    Kanskje er det noe som er interessant for leserene dine. 😉

    Også har jeg laget en bok “Grunnordforråd Tysk – Norsk – Engelsk” (Grundwortschatz Deutsch – Norwegisch – Englisch) med de mestbrukte 3.000 ord på tysk, norsk og engelsk ( ). Hvis du er enig kan jeg gjerne sende en gratis bok til deg og su kan sjekke boken og skrive om boken på siden din.
    Bare gi beskjed. 🙂

    Hilsen fra Tyskland

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Sven Hei Sven,

      tusen takk for beskjeden! 🙂 Jeg kan dessverre ikke reklamere for andre produkter – heller ikke bøker – på denne bloggen.
      Men takk for tilbudet, og lykke til med salget! 🙂

      Hilsen Bjørn

  5. Elisabeth (Eastgaard) McMahon:

    This list is helpful for me. I was raised in a Norwegian speaking home, but almost all lost through canadian living
    I spent one month on holidays recently.But did not have to use the little Norwegian I knew. They all spoke English. We dream of coming back to beautiful Norway and this list will help me a lot. Thank you.

  6. Halil:

    This is so helpful thank you and can you tell me how can i learn how to make sentences

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Halil @Halil – making sentencens… That’s a great idea for the next post! 🙂 Thank you and I’ll look into it.