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Norwegian BokmålVocabulary → Numbers and counting


As a language teacher with 20 years of experience teaching Norwegian Bokmål, I know that mastering the basics is one of the most important elements of language learning. In this lesson, we will focus on counting and expressing numbers in Norwegian Bokmål. Whether you plan on traveling to Norway, studying in a Norwegian-speaking country, or just want to impress your friends with your language skills, understanding numbers is key.

The Norwegian Bokmål Number System:

The Norwegian Bokmål number system is based on the Arabic numeral system, with a few key differences. The numbers from zero to nine are generally the same in both systems. However, starting from ten, the Norwegian Bokmål system differs slightly from the Arabic numeral system. In Norwegian Bokmål, numbers are written in the correct order but with a space in between the digits of a compound number, much like in English. So, 42 would be written as "førtito" (literally, "forty-two") in Norwegian Bokmål.

Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers:

Before we dive into the number system, let's take a quick look at the two types of numbers we'll be talking about: cardinal and ordinal numbers. Cardinal numbers are used for counting (such as one, two, three, etc.), while ordinal numbers are used for positioning (such as first, second, third, etc.).

Basic Numbers in Norwegian Bokmål:

Here are the basic numbers in Norwegian Bokmål:

Once you've mastered this lesson, take a look at these related pages: Birthday & Days of the Week.

Norwegian Bokmål Pronunciation English
null /nʉl/ zero
en /ɛn/ one
to /tu/ two
tre /trɛ/ three
fire /fiːr/ four
fem /fɛm/ five
seks /sɛks/ six
syv /syːv/ seven
åtte /ɔtə/ eight
ni /ni/ nine
ti /ti/ ten

Notice that "ti" is different from the numbers that follow, as we mentioned in the previous section.

Counting from 11-100:

Counting from 11-100 in Norwegian Bokmål is a bit tricky, but with practice, it will become second nature. Here are the numbers from 11-20:

Norwegian Bokmål Pronunciation English
elleve /ˈɛləvə/ eleven
tolv /tuːlv/ twelve
tretten /ˈtrɛtən/ thirteen
fjorten /ˈfjuːrtən/ fourteen
femten /ˈfɛmːtən/ fifteen
seksten /ˈsɛksːtən/ sixteen
sytten /ˈsyːtən/ seventeen
atten /ˈɔtən/ eighteen
nitten /ˈninən/ nineteen
tjue /ˈtjʉː/ twenty

To form numbers from 21-100, you need to combine the modified form of the tens with the ones. Here is a table showing that:

Norwegian Bokmål Pronunciation English
tjueen /ˈtjuː.ən/ twenty-one
tjueto /ˈtjuː.ətʊ/ twenty-two
tjuetre /ˈtjuːtrə/ twenty-three
tjuefire /ˈtjʉː.fɪrə/ twenty-four
tjuefem /ˈtjuː.fɛm/ twenty-five
tjuenseks /ˈtjuː.ənsɛks/ twenty-six
tjuesyv /ˈtjuː.ənsyːv/ twenty-seven
tjueåtte /ˈtjuː.əɔtə/ twenty-eight
tjue ni /ˈtjuː.ni/ twenty-nine
tretti /ˈtrɛti/ thirty
førti /ˈførti/ forty
femti /ˈfɛmti/ fifty
seksti /ˈsɛksti/ sixty
sytti /ˈsyti/ seventy
åtti /ˈɔtɪ/ eighty
nitti /ˈniti/ ninety
hundre /ˈhʉndrə/ one hundred

As you can see, the modified form of the tens (tjue-, førti-, etc.) are used, along with the basic numbers from one to nine.

Higher Numbers:

Once you've mastered the basic numbers and counting from 11-100, you're ready to move on to higher numbers in Norwegian Bokmål. Here are some of the numbers you might need to know:

Norwegian Bokmål Pronunciation English
tusen /ˈtʉsən/ one thousand
en million /ɛn miˈlɔn/ one million
en milliard /ɛn miˈliɑrd/ one billion

Notice that the word "en" is used for "one" in these examples. You can substitute any basic number if you want to count how many thousands or millions of things there are.

Some Useful Phrases:

Here are some useful phrases and sentences you can use to practice counting and expressing numbers in Norwegian Bokmål:

  • Jeg kan telle til hundre. (I can count to one hundred.)
  • Hva er telefonnummeret ditt? (What is your telephone number?)
  • Jeg vil ha to billetter, takk. (I would like two tickets, please.)
  • Hvor mye koster dette? (How much does this cost?)
  • Jeg har ti kroner. (I have ten Norwegian kroner.)
  • Jeg er født i to tusen tolv. (I was born in 2012.)


Counting and expressing numbers is an important part of Norwegian Bokmål language learning. With practice, you'll become more comfortable with the number system and be able to use it in meaningful ways. In the next lesson, we'll explore words and phrases related to food and eating in Norwegian Bokmål.

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