Norwegian Language Blog

What time is it? Posted by on Oct 28, 2012 in Language

Today Norwegians had the chance to sleep one hour longer, as the official time changed from sommertid (summer time) to vintertid (winter time). 8 o’ clock in the morning became 7 o’ clock – and with temperatures below zero in the whole country (including lots of early snø, snow, in the city of Tromsø and other northern places), I guess many people enjoyed the prolonged stay in senga (the bed). 🙂

Let’s review how to talk about time in Norwegian:

  • there’s no ”PM” or ”AM” in Norwegian. In the written language, a 24 hour system is used: 23.12 means 11:12 PM. 10.15 means 10:15 AM. In the spoken language, you normally just use the numbers from 1 to 12. If precision is needed, expression like ’i kveld’ (tonight) or ’i morgen tidlig’ (tomorrow morning) may be added: Klokka 8 i kveld? (At 8 o’ clock tonight?) Han kommer klokka 7 i morgen tidlig. (He’ll arrive at 7 AM tomorrow morning.)
  • there’s no ”at” in Norwegian. ’Klokka 8’ means eight o’ clock or at eight (o’ clock).
  • kvart på ni means ’a quarter to nine’. ’A quarter past nine’ is kvart over ni. (8:55 = fem på ni; 9:07 = syv over ni.)
  • there’s no ”half past” in Norwegian. Instead, you imagine yourself being halfway on the walk to the next hour: halv ti literally means ’half ten’, that is, halfway to ten = 9:30.

And here are some useful phrases for talking about tida (the time):

  • Hva er klokka? What time is it?
  • Den er halv elleve. It’s half past ten.
  • Når går bussen din? When does your bus leave?
  • Jeg må skynde meg! I’ve got to hurry!
  • Jeg har dårlig tid. I’m in a hurry! (Literally: I’ve got bad time.)
  • Hvor lenge varer reisen? How long does the travel last?
  • Har du klokke? Do you have (a) watch?
  • Har du tid til en prat? Do you have the time for a chat?
  • År, måned, uke, dag, time, minutt, sekund.  Year, month, week, day, minute, second.
  • I går, i dag, i morgen. Senere. Yesterday, today, tomorrow. Later.
  • Aldri, ofte, alltid. Never, often, always.
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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. Lauren:

    I really appreciate your Norwegian Language Blog, thank you so much .for putting in the time and effort……. I love all things Norwegian 🙂 I live in Northern U.S., my great grandparents emigrated to New York from Norway, and it is my hearts dream to live there, …. I am studying the language now……. I always look forward to your “lessons” …..


    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Lauren @Lauren Thanks for the comment, which I appreciate. 🙂