5 Tiiturumavit?

Dialogue: Coffee or Tea Break

Kaapiturumavit?ᑳᐱᑐᕈᒪᕕᑦ? Would you like coffee?
ii, kaapiturumajunga.ᐄ, ᑳᐱᑐᕈᒪᔪᖓ. Yes I'd like coffee.
Sukalisuunguvit?ᓱᑲᓕᓲᖑᕕᑦ? Do you take sugar?
Aagga, sukalisuungunngittunga.ᐋᒡᒐ, ᓱᑲᓕᓲᖑᙱᑦᑐᖓ. No, I don't take sugar.
Immulisuunguvit?ᐃᒻᒧᓕᓲᖑᕕᑦ? Do you take milk?
ii, immulisuungujunga.ᐄ, ᐃᒻᒧᓕᓲᖑᔪᖓ. Yes, I take milk.
Asu. Uvva.ᐊᓱ. ᐅᕝᕙ. O.K. Here you are.
Nakurmiik.ᓇᑯᕐᒦᒃ. Thank you.
ilaali. ᐃᓛᓕ.You're welcome.


Would you like tea?
tea (I would like...)
tea (I would not like...)
coffee (Would you like...?)
coffee (I would like...)
coffee (I don't want...)
Do you take milk?
tiimut immulisunguvit?
Do you take milk with your tea?
I take milk.
I do not take milk.
sugar (Do you take...?)
sugar (I take ... with my coffee/tea)
sugar (I do not take ...)
water (for drinking)
water (would you like...?)
water (I would like ...)
water (I don't want ...)
I don't want bannock.
coffee cup
tea pot
thank you
You’re welcome.


12 » Frequent or Habitual Actions


-suuq is added to roots to express the idea of

  • someone who is able to do something
  • someone who does something frequently, or as a matter of habit.


uivititut French
Uivititusuunguvit? Do you speak French?
immuk milk
immulisuunguvit? Do you take milk?
qangata to rise or jump into the air
qangatasuuq airplane (lit. something that frequently goes up into the air)
A couple of points to note:


1. –suuq is often followed by the verb -ngu- (a variation of -u-) which means “to be”.

sukaq + li + suuq + ngu + vit = Literally, ‘Are you someone who frequently uses sugar.'
sukalisuunguvit? Do you take sugar?
2. When using -suuq- in the third person (it, he, she, they), the verb -ngu is dropped as a short cut:
inuktitusuuq an Inuktitut speaker
inuktitusuut people who speak Inuktitut
3. When -suuq- is added to a stem that ends in a consonant, it deletes the final consonant:
miqsuq + suuq =  
miqsusuuq someone who sews

11 » The Verb -tuq-


The affix -tuq- is used after noun roots to indicate something one eats, something one drinks or something that one uses somehow:
tiituqtugut We (3+) are drinking tea.
natsiminiqtuqtuq He/she is eating seal meat.
umiaqtuqtut They are boating.
kaapiturumavit? Do you want some coffee?

-tuq- can be attached to any root without changing the consonant sound that comes before it.

The root imiq on its own means “water” or it can become a verb root, followed by a verb ending, to mean “to drink”.  If you want to ask someone if they would like some water, do not use the affix –tuq- with the root imiq-.  The correct way to ask the question is:

imirumavit?  Do you want to drink (some water)?
imirumajunga I want to drink some water.
imiqtuq He is drinking water.


10 » To Want

As you put together roots, affixes and grammatical endings to build words, the first letter or the last letter of these elements will often change. These spelling changes allow for smoother pronunciation.

Let's look at the verb -juma-. This is a common affix used to express in Inuktitut to want.

Because -juma- is an affix, it must be added to a root. ilau- is a root meaning to come along.

The affix -juma- can be inserted between the root (ilau-) and the subject ending:

ilaujumava? Does he / she want to come along?
ii, ilaujumajuq. Yes, he / she wants come along.
-juma- works fine when it is added to a root ending in a vowel. If it is added to a root that ends in -q, though, a spelling change happens:
kaapituq- to have coffee
kaapiturumavit? Do you want some coffee?
ii, kaapiturumajunga. Yes, I want to have some coffee.


If -juma- is added to a root ending in a -k, we get a different change:

sinik- to sleep
sinigumavisi? Do you (3+) want to sleep?
ii, sinigumajugut. Yes, we want to sleep.


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?