Norwegian: String of Adjectives

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by enaid_cean023, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. enaid_cean023 Member


    How do Norwegians string together more than three adjectives at a time? Does it also follow the order of adjectives in English? As in:
    Determiner (articles and other limiters: the book, your car)
    Observation or opinion (a genuine fraud, an interesting book, an expensive watch)
    Size and Shape (tiny, fat, square)
    Age (young, old, new)
    Color (blue, sea-green)
    Origin (American, Chinese)
    Material (describing what something is made of: silk, copper, wooden)
    Qualifier (wedding dress, race car)

    I'm quite struggling when I try to use string of adjectives and it really gets confusing when I try to separate those adjectives with commas.

    Can somebody please give an example of a sentence with string of adjectives in it? Lastly, when do I need to use commas to separate each of the adjectives?

    Thank you so much in advance! :)
  2. myšlenka Senior Member

    the order of adjectives is the same as in English but note that what you have listed as Material and Qualifier is expressed through compounding in Norwegian in most cases. Also note that the proposed order is not completely rigid for some of the categories:

    1a) en liten, ny bil
    1b) en ny, liten bil
    2a) en ny, fransk bil
    *2b) en fransk, ny bil

    I can accept both 1a) and 1b) as grammatical, but 2b) sounds weird. I would always separate adjectives with a comma (or with og, depending on the context).
  3. enaid_cean023 Member

    Oh, I see. I never thought this would be less complicated than in English. :)

    As for the material and qualifier, say for example, instead of writing "en ny, liten, sølv skje", we write "en ny, liten sølvskje"?

    I guess, I understand it better now! Thanks so much for your time
  4. myšlenka Senior Member

    Yes, because it's pronounced like a compound.
  5. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Is this a matter of grammar or style? What is the source of your list?
  6. enaid_cean023 Member

  7. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    The rules are listed on a site about grammar, but the teachers concede that the order of adjectives is moreva trend than a rule. On some special occasions you can change the order, if you want to emphasize something. That's why I think it not a grammar rule.

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