Grammaire » 31 » Birthdays

Some notes on birthdays. 

nalliutijuq nalliutisuuq maimi.
She has a birthday (that very day). She has his/her birthday in May.

You will remember the affix -suuq (meaning “someone who does something regularly”) from such expressions as:

immulisuunguvit? immuliusuuq
Do you take milk (with your coffee)? He/she takes milk.
Inuktitusuunguva? ii, inuktituusuuq.
Does he/she speak Inuktitut? Yes, he/she speaks Inuktitut.


Remember that when making a simple statement in the third person (he / she / it), –suuq can appear, on its own, at the end of the word.

Sitipirimi nalliutisuuq.
His/her birthday is in September.


In any other situation, you normally add the verb –u–/–ngu– (meaning ‘to be’) after –suuq– followed by the appropriate ending:

Tisipirimi nalliutisuunguvit? Aagga, nalliutisuungujunga iipurimi.
Is your birthday in December? No, my birthday is in April.
Maatsimi nalliutisuunguva? ii, maatsimi nalliutisuuq.
Is his/her birthday in March? Yes, his/her birthday is in March.


Let’s say we want to ask someone how old they are: 

qatsit? qatsit + u + vit = qatsiuvit?
how many? How old are you (literally, how many are you?)

In answering, we do like in French and talk about how many years we “have”: 

30-nik + arraagu + qaq + tunga 30-nik arraaguqaqtunga.
  I am 30 (literally, I have 30 years.)

Remember that when –qaq– comes together with –tuq–, we get the affix –lik:

Qatsiuva? 24-nik arraagulik.
How old is he/she? He/she is 24.


If, on the day of someone’s birthday, we want to ask them how old they are turning, we use the affix -liq-to express something that is about to happen:

Qatsinik arraguqaliqqit? 8-nik arraaguqaliqtunga.
How old are you turning (today)? I am turning 8 (today).

Finally, if you are wondering what to write on those birthday cards that circulate through the office:

ᐅᓪᓗᒥ ᓇᓕᐅᑎᑦᓯᐊᕆᑦ !

Happy Birthday!