Grammar » 7 » Future Tense

To talk about actions or events that will be happening in the future, affixes are inserted between the verb root that describes the action and the verb ending.  The affix that is used depends on how far into the future the verb will take place:
 

THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE

To talk about event that will happen later the same day, insert the affix -niaq- between the verb root and the ending:

suvit? What are you doing?
suniaqqit? What will you be doing?
   
nirijunga I am eating.
niriniaqtunga. I will be eating.

When -niaq- is added to a root that ends in q-, the q changes to r.

kaapituq + niaq + tunga =  
kaapiturniaqtunga. I will be drinking coffee.
When -niaq- is added to a root ending in t- , it changes the t to :
pisut + niaq + tuq =  
pisunniaqtuq He / she is going to walk.

 

In Iqaluit, -langa- is the affix that is most commonly used for an event in the immediate future.  -langa- can be attached directly to a root that ends in a vowel.  When attached to a root ending in a consonant, it deletes the final consonant:
ullumi aullalangajut They are going to depart today.

 

EVENTS FARTHER IN THE FUTURE

-laaq- is an affix used for events that will be happening the next day or further into the future. Let’s compare the following pairs of words:

iqqanaijarniaqtunga I am going to work (later that day).
iqqanaijalaaqtunga I will be working (sometime in the future).
   
katimaniaqtugut We are going to have a meeting (later the same day).
katimalaaqtugut We will be having a meeting (tomorrow or farther in the future)
If -laaq- is added to a stem that ends in a consonant, it deletes the last consonant.
aullaq + laaq + tuq =  
aullalaaqtuq He / she will leave town.

 

NEGATIVE STATEMENTS IN THE FUTURE

 

In some dialects, there is a special way of using the negative in the future tense to describe events that will not be happening. This involves adding the affix -jjaa- just before the negative affix -nngit-.

 qainiaqtuq He is going to come.
jjaanngittuq He is not going to come.

 

When -jjaa- is added to a root ending in a consonant, it deletes the final consonant. It can be used to describe events in the near future (today) and the more distant future (tomorrow or later).

aullaq- to leave town; depart
Unnusa aullarniaqtunga. I’ll be leaving town this afternoon.
Unnusa aullajjaanngittunga. I’ll not be leaving town this afternoon.
Qauppat aullajjaanngittunga I’ll not be leaving town tomorrow.