16 Sila piuppat

Dialogue: Weekend plans

Pinasuarusiup nunnguani sulaaqqit?ᐱᓇᓱᐊᕈᓯᐅᑉ ᓄᙳᐊᓂ ᓱᓛᖅᑭᑦ? What are you doing this weekend?
illuralaattinuulaaqtunga.ᐃᓪᓗᕋᓛᑦᑎᓐᓅᓛᖅᑐᖓ. I am going to my cabin.
Asukuluk, quviagiviuk tauvani?ᐊᓱᑯᓗᒃ, ᖁᕕᐊᒋᕕᐅᒃ ᑕᐅᕙᓂ? Oh yeah? Do you like it there?
ii, atsualuk quviagijara.ᐄ, ᐊᑦᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᖁᕕᐊᒋᔭᕋ. Yes indeed, I really like it there.
Tauvani suvakkavit? ᑕᐅᕙᓂ ᓱᕙᒃᑲᕕᑦ?What do you do out there?
Pisuppattunga kuummut.ᐱᓱᑉᐸᑦᑐᖓ ᑰᒻᒧᑦ. I often walk to the river.


What will you be doing? (tomorrow or father in the future)
sila piuppat
if the weather is good
if it snows
walking (she/he is...)
boating (he/she is...)
all day
pinasuarusiup nunngua
there (in that spot...)
here (in this spot...)
here (in this area...)
down there (in that area...)
by snowmobile


32 » If and when...

Inuktut has a series of endings to talk about events that have not yet happened:

Uqalukpat qainiaqtunga.
I will come if / when he/she calls.

Depending on the context, these endings can be translated in English as "when something happens..." or "if something happens..."

You will notice that these endings are very similar to those used to express the idea of “because”:

niri - to eat

niriguma if  when I eat
nirigumnuk if / when we (2) eat
nirigupta if / when we (3+) eat
niriguvit if / when you eat
nirigupsik if / when you (2) eat
nirigupsi if / when you (3+) eat
niriguni / nirikpat * if / when he/she eats
nirigutik / nirikpatik * if / when they (2) eat
nirigutik / nirikpata * if / when they (3+) eat

* -guni, and -gutik can only be used when the two actions in the sentence will be done by the same person/people:

Qaiguni, mumiriarunnarniaqtuq
If she comes, she will be able to go dancing.

If the two verbs in the sentence will be done by different people, then -(k)pat / -(k)patik / -(k)pata must be used:

Ilisapii qaikpat, Aita mumiriarunnarniaqtuq.
If Ilisapi comes, Aani will be able to go dancing.


Form of these endings following -q:

nattiq- to catch a seal
nattiruma if / when I catch a seal
nattirumnuk if / when we (2) catch a seal
nattirupta if / when we (3+) catch a seal
nattiruvit if / when you catch a seal
nattirupsik if / when you (2) catch a seal
nattirupsi  if / when you (3+) catch a seal
nattiruni / nattiqpat  if / when he/she catches a seal
nattirutik / nattiqpatik if / when they (2) catch a seal
nattirutik / nattiqpata if / when they (3+) catch a seal

Form of these endings following -k 

tupak- to wake up
tupakkuma if  when I wake up
tupakkumnuk if / when we (2) wake up
tupakkupta if / when we (3+) wake up
tupakkuvit if / when you wake up
tupakkupsik if / when you (2) wake up
tupakkupsi  if / when you (3+) wake up
tupakkuni / tupakpat  if / when he/she wakes up
tupakkutik / tupakpatik if / when they (2) wake up
tupakkutik / tupakpata  if / when they (3+) wake up

Form of these endings following -t 

makit- to wake up
makitkuma if  when I get up
makitkumnuk if / when we (2) get up
makitkupta if / when we (3+) get up
makitkuvit if / when you get up
makitkupsik if / when you (2) get up
makitkupsi  if / when you (3+) get up
makitkuni / makitpat  if / when he/she gets up
makitkutik / makitpatik  if / when they (2) get up
makitkutik / makitpata  if / when they (3+) get up



33 » Locations

Inuktut speakers are precise when talking about where things are located.  There is a long list of locations to master.  The first thing to remember is that there are different workds to indicate a person or objects is in a specific spot versus a general area:

uvani (right) here
maani in this area
ikani over there (specific spot)
avani over there (general area)
pikani up there (specific spot)
paani up there (general area)
kanani down there (specific spot)
unani down there (general area)

There are no set rules that will help you to decide when to use one term over the other. A lot depends on context. For example, both uvani / maani could refer to very large areas:

uvani right here (in Iqaluit)
maani here (in Nunavut)

or they could each refer to much smaller spaces:

uvani right here in this spot
maani in this building

 The best advice is to learn these terms as pairs and then listen carefully to fluent speakers to hear how they are used in coversation.

2. These locational words will often be heard with the prefix ta- which indicates that a location has already been mentioned or implied in the conversation:

basic form with ta-prefix English equivalent
uvani tavvani right here
maani tamaani around here
ikani taikani over there (specific spot)
avani taavani over there (general area)
pikani tapikani up there (specific spot)
paani tapaani up there (general area)
kanani takanani down there (specific spot)
unani taunani down there (general area)


3. Note that all of the terms in the table above end with the affix -ni , meaning that the person/object described is in or at a place.

To talk about motion towards a specific spot we replace the -ni ending with -unga:

towards a location English equivalent
tavvunga to here (specific spot)
tamaunga to here (more general area)
taavunga to there (specific spot)
taikunga to there (more general area)
tappikunga up to there (specific spot)
tappaunga up there (general area)
takanunga down to there (specific spot)
taununga down to there (more general area)


4. If we replace the ending with -anngat, we can talk about motion away from a place:.

away from a location English equivalent
strong>tavvanngat from here (specific spot)
tamaanngat from here (more general area)
taavanngat from there (specific spot)
taikanngat from there (more general area)
tappikanngat from to there (specific spot)
tappaanngat from there (general area)
takananngat from down there (specific spot)
taunanngat from down there (more general area)


5. And, if we replace the ending with -(u)una, we can talk about motion through a space:

through a location English equivalent
tavvuuna from here (specific spot)
tamauna from here (more general area)
taavuuna from there (specific spot)
taikuuna from there (more general area)
tappikuuna from to there (specific spot)
tappauna from there (general area)
takanuuna from down there (specific spot)
taunuuna from down there (more general area)