2 Qanuippit?

Dialogue: What is your name?

Unnusakkut.ᐅᓐᓄᓴᒃᑯᑦ. Good afternoon.
Unnusakkut. ᐅᓐᓄᓴᒃᑯᑦ. Good afternoon
Kinauvit?ᑭᓇᐅᕕᑦ?What's your name?
Uvanga?ᐅᕙᖓ?(who) me?
ii, ivvit.ᐄ, ᐃᕝᕕᑦ. Yes you.
Taivitiujunga.ᑕᐃᕕᑎᐅᔪᖓ. My name is Taiviti.
Asu. Unali kinauva? ᐊᓱ. ᐅᓇᓕ ᑭᓇᐅᕙ?I see. And who is this?
Una Jaani.ᐅᓇ ᔮᓂ. This is Jaani.
Tunngasugitsik.ᑐᙵᓱᒋᑦᓯᒃ. Welcome (to the two of you).
Tunngasuppuguk.ᑐᙵᓱᑉᐳᒍᒃ. Response to "tunngasugitsik" (literally, 'We feel welcome.')


How are you?
How are you (2) ?
How are you (3+)?
fine (I am...)
We (2) are fine.
We (3+) are fine.
I; me
you (1)
What about you (1)?
happy (Are you ...?)
happy (I am...)
happy (he/she is...)
sleepy (Are you...?)
sleepy (I am...)
sleepy (he/she is...)
hot (Are you...?)
hot (I am...)
cold (Are you ...?)
understand (Do you...?)
understand (I...)


5 » Asking Questions

Inuktut has a series of verb endings that are used just for asking questions. To ask a question, we add one of these endings to a verb root or affix. The verb ending indicates who we are asking about:
nirivit? Are you eating?
niriva? Is he / she eating?


Question endings have different forms depending on the sound that comes before them. After a root or affix that ends in a vowel, the question endings look like this:

tukisi- to understand
tukisivunga? Do I understand?
tukisivit? Do you understand?
tukisiva? Does he/she understand?
tukisivinuk? Do we (2) understand?
tukisivita? Do we (3+) understand?
tukisivisik? Do you (2) understand?
tukisivisi? Do you (3+) understand?
tukisivak? Do they (2) understand?
tukisivat? Do they (3+) understand?


After a root or affix that ends in q-, you use the same endings as above, replacing the v with a q.
isiq- to come in
isiqqunga? Am I coming in?
isiqqit? Are you coming in?
isiqqa? Is he / she coming in?
isiqqinuk? Are we (2) coming in?
isiqqita? Are we (3+) coming in?
isiqqisik? Are you two coming in?
isiqqisi? Are you (3+) coming in?
isiqqak? Are the two of them coming in?
isiqqat? Are they (3+) coming in?
If the root or affix ends in any other consonant, you do the following:
  • replace the final consonant of the verb with a p
  • use the same endings above, replacing the v with a p.

As an example, let's use the verb root sinit-meaning to sleep:

sinippunga? Am I sleeping?
sinippit? Are you sleeping?
sinippa? Is he/she sleeping?
sinippinuk? Are the two of us sleeping?
sinippita? Are we (3+) sleeping?
sinippisik? Are you two sleeping?
sinippisi? Are you (3+) sleeping?
sinippak? Are the two of them sleeping?
sinippat? Are they (3+) sleeping?


6 » Pronouns

In English, a verb must always be accompanied by a word to indicate who is doing the action:

I eat. She sleeps. They depart.

The highlighted words above are called pronouns.

Inuktut has pronouns although they aren't used as much as in English for reasons that will be explained below.

We'll start with the simplest pronouns:

uvanga I
uvaguk we; us (2)
uvagut we; us (3+)
ivvit you (1) 
ilitsik you (2)
ilitsi you (3+)
una this person here

It is important to remember that Inuktut verbs always indicate who is doing the action through the verb ending so pronouns often aren’t needed: 

nirijunga I eat. 
sinittuq She sleeps.
aullaqtut They depart. 

Where pronouns are used is when :
  • you are talking about a person or an object without a verb
  • you are adding emphasis:
Qanuinngittunga.  ivvilli? I am fine, what about you?
uvanga? (who) me?
uvangalu qanuinngimmijunga. I (too) am fine.


Notice above the use of two little endings : -li and –lu that can be tacked on to the end of the pronouns.

-li is used in conversation when you want to change the person or object you are talking about :

ivvit + li = ivvilli? What about you (1)?
uvanga + li = uvangali? What about me?
uva + li = unali? * What about him / her?

This last pronoun can only be used when the person you are referring to is very close by.

-lu is an ending meaning « and » or « too »:

uirngaqtunga I am sleepy.
uvangalu Me, too.

When –li and –lu  are added to pronouns ending in a consonant, they change the final consonants to l:

ilitsik + li = ilitsilli What about you two?
ivvit + lu = ivvillu You (1), as well.