Is it “noe” or “noen”?

“Noen” and “noe” sound very similar in Norwegian, but we actually use them quite differently.

Someone and something

Noe” means “something”:

  • Vi må si noe! – Vi must say something!

And we use “ikke noe” to say “no”:

  • Vi har ikke noe sukker. – We have no sugar.

Noen” mans “someone”:

  • Det er noen i huset. – There is someone in the house.

“Ikke noen” would have the meaning “no one”:

  • Det er ikke noen her. – There’s no one here.

Some

“Noe” and “noen” can also mean “some”.

We use “noe” with uncountable nouns – that is with things that we cannot count. For example:

  • noe frukt (some fruit), noe kaffe (some coffee).

We use “noen” with countable words in plural. For example:

  • noen jenter (some girls), noen biler (some cars), noen bilder (some photos).

“Noe” and “noen” instead of “en” and “et”

We can use “noen” and “noe” instead of the articles “en” and “et” in questions and negative sentences.

We can use “noen” instead of an article with masculine and feminine nouns in singular:

  • Har du noen/ei søster? – Nei, jeg har ikke noen søster.

But we can’t say “Jeg har noen søster”. It would be correct to say “Ja, jeg har ei søster”.


We use “noe” with singular neuter nouns, instead of the article “et”:

  • Har du noe bilde av søstera di? – Nei, jeg har ikke noe bilde av henne.

Again, we can’t say “Jeg har noe bilde”. It would be correct to say “Ja, jeg har et bilde av henne”.


Are you interested in learning more grammar? Check out our articles Is it liten, lita, lite or små, Adverbs ut vs ute, and Is it Hvilken? Hvilket? or Hvilke?.

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