Norwegian Language Blog

what is up with the “e” ending?! Posted by on Jan 23, 2010 in Language

Doesn’t it seem like almost all norske ord (Norwegian words) end in bokstaven ‘e’ (the letter “e”)?  A recent comment on an old post about norsk uttalelse (Norwegian pronunciation) inquired about the ‘e’ ending on so many norske ord.  I remember thinking that same thought when I first begynte å lære norsk (began to learn Norwegian).  I also remember that it was vanskelig (difficult) to remember how to pronounce the ‘e’ ending, since most of the time bokstaven ‘e’ is pronounced similar to ‘ay’ på engelsk (in English).

For eksempel:

alene (alone), evighet (eternity), bever (beaver), leder (leader), krem (cream)

‘e’ is also sometimes pronounced like ‘e’ in hen, Ben, or Ken. 

For eksempel:

grense (border), melk (milk), brenne (burn), verre (worse)

Now, for the question about how to uttale (pronounce) ‘e’ when it’s at the end of et ord…

For eksempel:

most verbs in the infinitive (å) form:

å drikke (to drink), å grille (to grill), å vaske (to wash), å handle (to shop), å løpe (to run)

other types of words, such as substantiver (nouns), adjektiver (adjectives), adverber (adverbs), og navner (names) end in ‘e’.

For eksempel:

stille (quiet), øye (eye), pute (pillow), o.s.v.

It may seem odd, but the ‘e’ ending is actually pronounced the same way as the ‘et’ ending for definite neuter nouns (skapet-the closet, bordet-the table).  It is pronounced like ‘eh,’ basically the same as the ‘e’ sound in grense, melk, og brenne. 

På engelsk, we are used to not pronouncing the final ‘e’ in a word, but på norsk, the final ‘e’ is always pronounced. 

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!



    Hi there,
    I was wondering how do you say LOVE in Norwegian?

  2. Kari:

    Love på norsk is ‘kjærlighet’-pronounced shar-lee-het
    with an ‘a’ as in ‘cat’ in the first syllable and ‘het’ is the tricky ‘e’ sound that’s kind of in the middle of ‘e’ as in ‘jet’ and ‘a’ as in ‘hate’

  3. Oda:

    Isn’t the ‘e’ in verre pronounced like ‘æ’

  4. slim:


    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @slim @Slim Hei! Hvordan går det? 🙂