Old Norse/Numerals

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In this chapter, the following concepts are explained:

  • cardinal numbers
  • cardinal number declension
  • ordinal numbers

Labial mutation (aka. u-umlaut) is marked by an L before the ending.

Front mutation (aka. i-umlaut) is marked by an F before the ending.

Cardinal numbers[edit]

1 through 20[edit]

The cardinals 1 through 4 decline. 5 through 20 do not.

Cardinal numbers 1 through 20
1 einn 2 tveir 3 þrír 4 fjórir 5 fimm
6 sex 7 sjau 8 átta 9 níu 10 tíu
11 ellifu 12 tólf 13 þrettán 14 fjórtán 15 fimmtán
16 sextán 17 sjaut(j)án 18 átján 19 nítján 20 tuttugu

The four declinable numerals einn, tveir, þrír and fjórir will decline whenever it appears in a number.

Multiples of ten[edit]

Multiples of ten from 30 to 110 are expressed by combining a cardinal number with the plural of the u-stem masculine noun tigr "ten," whose declension is given below.

Declension of u-stem tigr "ten"
case singular plural
nominative tigr tigir
genitive tigar tiga
dative tigi tigum
accusative tig tigu

Nouns counted with multiples of ten are in the genitive case, as in the sentence þrír tigir manna dóu "thirty men died," literally meaning "three tens of men died."

For multiples of ten other than 30 and 40, while tigr declines, the preceding cardinal number does not. For 30 and 40, þrír and fjórir decline as well as tigr. For example, see how, in the following sentences, þrír "three" in the first sentence declines to the masculine accusative plural while fimm "five" in the second does not.

  • Hann slógu þrjá tigu manna. He slayed thirty men.
  • Hann slógu fimm tigu manna. He slayed fifty men.

Other numbers 21 through 119[edit]

Other numbers are like English but with an ok ("and") connecting the multiple of ten and the single digit. Examples are þrír tigir ok tveir or tveir ok þrír tigir "thirty-two," ellifu tigir ok sjau or sjau ok ellifu tigir one hundred seventeen; eleven tens and seven."

hundrað and þúsund[edit]

The neuter noun hundrað "long hundred; 120" declines like the following.

Declension of hundrað "long hundred; 120"
case singular plural
nominative hundrað hundruð
genitive hundraðs hundraða
dative hundraði hundruðum
accusative hundrað hundruð

The feminine noun þúsund "long thousand; 1200" declines like the following.

Declension of þúsund "long thousand; 1200"
case singular plural
nominative þúsund þúsundir
genitive þúsundar þúsunda
dative þúsundi þúsundum
accusative þúsund þúsundir

Nouns counted with hundrað and þúsund are in the genitive form.

Einn, tveir, þrír and fjórir[edit]

Einn, tveir, þrír and fjórir appearing in numbers ending in 1, 2, 3 or 4 will decline.

If the subject is modified by a number that ends in 1, the verb is in the singular form. Otherwise, the verb is in the plural form. See the following examples.

  • Einn maðr ok þrír tigir dó. Thirty-one men died.
  • Fimm tigir manna ok tveir dóu. Fifty-two men died.

Cardinal number declension[edit]

Of the numbers 1 through 20, only the numerals einn, tveir, þrír and fjórir decline.

The plural form of einn was used to mean "some". The other numerals have plural forms only.

Declension of einn
masculine feminine neuter
case singular plural singular plural singular plural
nominative einn einir ein einar eitt ein
genitive eins einna einnar einna eins einna
dative einum einum einni einum einu einum
accusative einn eina eina einar eitt ein
Declension of tveir
masculine feminine neuter
case plural plural plural
nominative tveir tvær tvau
genitive tveggja tveggja tveggja
dative tveim(r) tveim(r) tveim(r)
accusative tvá tvær tvau
Declension of þrír
masculine feminine neuter
case plural plural plural
nominative þrír þrjár þrjú
genitive þriggja þriggja þriggja
dative þrim(r) þrim(r) þrim(r)
accusative þrjá þrjár þrjú
Declension of fjórir
masculine feminine neuter
case plural plural plural
nominative fjórir fjórar fjǫgur
genitive fjógurra fjógurra fjógurra
dative fjórum fjórum fjórum
accusative fjóra fjórar fjǫgur