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Norwegian word of the day: Uenig

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected] • 11 Nov, 2022 Updated Fri 11 Nov 2022 15:16 CEST
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Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash and Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

Sometimes you just need to agree to disagree.

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So what does it mean?

To be uenig is to disagree or be in disagreement over something (the antonym, enig, is used when you agree).

It’s not an exact like-for-like with the English ‘disagree’, however, because the Norwegian word is an adjective and the English word is a verb.

You can say “I disagree” in English but not in Norwegian where you’d have to reword the statement to jeg er uenig, “I am in disagreement”. The noun for “disagreement” in Norwegian is an uenighet.

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Why do I need to know uenig? 

There’s a number of ways you can use uenig, meaning to be in disagreement, usually in sentences that sound a bit different in English.

Two people can be uenige, in a disagreement, but as the subject of a sentence the disagreement is an uenighet between two people.

There’s also an important distinction relating to prepositions. To be uenig med henne is to disagree with her, but to be uenig i noe is to disagree on something someone has said or claimed. Two or more people can also be uenige om (about) something.

Hopefully, the examples below will make this a bit clearer.

How do I use it?

Jeg er uenig med deg.

I disagree with you.

Han synes bananer smaker bedre enn epler. Det er jeg uenig i.

He thinks bananas taste better than apples. I disagree with that.

De to politiske partiene forlot møtet uten å ha oppnådd noen større enighet rundt problemet.

The two political parties left the meeting without achieving any greater agreement over the issue.

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Frazer Norwell 2022/11/11 15:16

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