Norwegian Language Blog

How to get directions from a dropped letter Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

When you want to tell the world where you are, prepositions come handy: I’m in the garage; we’re on the mountain. (And so it is in Norwegian: Jeg er i garasjen; vi er fjellet.) However, very often some kind of adverb can do the job as well: I’m home; we’re out. Jeg er hjemme; vi er ute.

You’ll notice that a lot of these locational adverbs end in -ein Norwegian. In addition to hjemme [YEMMeh] and ute [OOteh], you’ve got:

inne (in, inside), as in Hun sitter inne i stua (she’s sitting in the living-room)

oppe (up), as in Vi var oppe hele natta (We stayed up all night)

nede (down), as in De traff hverandre nede i dalen (They met/hit each other down in the valley)

borte (away), as in Hvorfor er du alltid borte når jeg er hjemme? (Why’re you always gone when I’m at home?)

fremme (in front), as in Det er jeg som skal sitte fremme i bilen (It is I who’s supposed to sit in the front of the car) [this word can also be spelt framme]

But what if you wanted to say you were going home rather than being home? In Norwegian there’s a really nice trick you can use to tweak the meaning of the above words into something more directional: You just remove the final -e:

hjem! (Go home!)

Nå må dere komme ut! (Now you must come out(side)!)

Hun går inn i stua (She’s going into the living-room)

Han står opp (He gets up)

De går lenger ned i dalen (They go further down the valley)

Han løp bort så fort han kunne (He ran away as fast as he could)

Kom frem! (Come forth!)


Neat, huh? 🙂

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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.