Is it liten, lita, lite or små?

Is it liten, lita, lite or små?

When you learn Norwegian, it one of those words that causes most pain! 😀 This adjective, which means “little”, “small”, breaks too many rules and confuses learners the most!

When to use liten, lita, lite?

“Liten” (small) changes its form depending if we use nouns in masculine/”male” (en gutt), feminine/”female” (ei jente) or neuter (et hus) gender. 

👦 For masculine form use “LITEN” – en LITEN gutt
👧 For feminine form use “LITA” – ei LITA jente
🏡 For neuter form use “LITE” – et LITE hus

We use “liten/lita/lite” with nouns when we talk about one person/thing in general, not specific people or things.

When to use “lille” and “små”?

We use “lille” with singular nouns in definite form – when we describe one particular thing:

  • det lille huset (the small house)
  • den lille bilen (the small car)
  • den lille jenta (the small girl)

We use “SMÅ” when we describe many things:

  • 👦 👦 👦 – små gutter (small boys)
  • 🚗 🚗 🚗 – små biler (small cars)
  • 🏡 🏡 🏡 – de små husene (the small houses)

The good news is that “små” in plural doesn’t change! It is the same when we describe “female”, “male” or neuter nouns.

Now it’s time for you to practice!

Fill out with liten, lita, lite, lille or små.

Let us know in the comments if this article was useful. You may also be interested to learn How to use hvilken, hvilket and hvilke or When to choose ut and ute.

3 thoughts on “Is it liten, lita, lite or små?”

  1. There’s a song called ‘mitt lille land’. I can’t see why it isn’t ‘mitt lite land’, as ‘land’ is neuter, based on the above rules, but maybe it is a dialect.

    I can see that ‘this little country’ would be ‘det lille landet’, but here the word ‘land’ is in the definite form.

  2. Jeg visste det allerede… men hva med >et småbarn< ? Er dette et litebarn? Eller er småbarn alltid i flertall?

  3. Very helpful.
    I learned it long time ago and forgot the rules.
    Therefore I ran most of the time into problems to use the right version.

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300 most frequently used words in the Norwegian language

300 most used words in Norwegian
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