7 Allavvik

Dialogue: One chair, two chairs

Itsivautaqaqqit? ᐃᑦᓯᕙᐅᑕᖃᖅᑭᑦ?Do you have a chair?
Atausirmik itsivautaqaqtunga. Qatsinik itsivautanik pijumavit?ᐊᑕᐅᓯᕐᒥᒃ ᐃᑦᓯᕙᐅᑕᖃᖅᑐᖓ. ᖃᑦᓯᓂᒃ ᐃᑦᓯᕙᐅᑕᓂᒃ ᐱᔪᒪᕕᑦ? I have one chair. How many chairs do you want?
Marruunnik. ᒪᕐᕉᓐᓂᒃ.Two.
Allavvimmi itsivautaqtalik.ᐊᓪᓚᕝᕕᒻᒥ ᐃᑦᓯᕙᐅᑕᖅᑕᓕᒃ. There is a chair in the office.
Nakurmiik.ᓇᑯᕐᒦᒃ. Thank you.


office (in/at the...)
pen; pencil
Do you have a pen?
I have a pen.
I don't have a pen.
cell phone; mobile phone
garbage can


14 » To Have

If you want to talk about having something in your possession, you add the affix -qaq- directly to the end of a noun:

ulu + qaq + qit? =  
uluqaqqit? Do you have an ulu?
ulu + qaq + tunga =  
uluqaqtunga I have an ulu.

When -qaq- is added to a noun ending in a consonant, it deletes the final consonant:

umik + qaq + qa =  
umiqaqqa? Does he have a beard?


Watch out for singular nouns that end in -t.  Many of them add an -i before being put together with affixes:

titiraut + i + qaq + tunga =  
titirautiqaqtunga I have a pen.


If you want to talk about not having something, remember that both -qaq- and -nngit- delete any consonant that appears immediately before them:

umik + qaq + nngit + tuq =  
umiqanngittuq He doesn't have a beard.

When we want to say "he or she has something", Inuktitut speakers avoid the construction ...qaqtuq, and use the affix -lik instead:

qarasaujaqaqqa? Does he/she have a computer?
ii, qarasaujalik. Yes, he/she has a computer.


Note that -lik is not used to make a negative sentence:

qarasaujaqanngittuq He/she does not have a computer.



15 » There is / There are

The affix -taqaq- is used to express the English there is / there are. It is added to the end of nouns and must be followed by a subject ending:
kaapitaqaqqa? Is there coffee?

When we want to say "there is...", Inuktut speakers avoid the construction -taqaqtuq, and use the affix -talik instead:

ii, kaapitalik. Yes, there is coffee.

Note that -talik is never used to make a negative sentence. Instead -taqaq- + -nngit + tuq is used.

kaapitaqanngittuq There is no coffee.

-taqaq- deletes final consonants of any nouns it is added to:

paippaaq paper
paippaataqaqqa? Is there any paper?
ii, paippaatalik Yes, there is paper.
aagga, paippaataqanngittuq No, there is no paper.


16 » The Dual

In English, when we want to talk about more than one of something, we usually add an s to the end of a noun:
one door two doors three doors

In Inuktut, we use different endings to distinguish between two of something and more than two of something:

matu one door
matuuk (two) doors
matuit (3+) doors
The dual form is used to talk about two of a particular object. You can recognize the dual form as any noun that ends in a double vowel, followed by a -k.
saak (two) tables
uqaalautiik (two) telephones
illuuk (two) buildings


Here's how to change a noun from its singular form to the dual:

  • if the object ends in a vowel, double the last vowel and add -k:
nuvuja cloud
nuvujaak (two) clouds
  • if the object ends in a -t, add the ending -iik:
uqaalaut phone
uqaalautiik (two) phones
  • if it ends in any consonant other than -t, delete the last consonant, double the last vowel, and add -k:
kamik skin boot
kamiik (two) skin boots
qarasaujaq computer
qarasaujaak (two) computers

Remember that in Inuktut, you almost never put together more than two vowels in a row. So if you drop the final consonant and find you already have two vowels, just add -k:

qarasaujaralaaq laptop
qarasaujaralaak (two) laptops

17 » The Plural

In Inuktut, the plural is used to talk about more than two of any noun:
inuk person
inuit  people (3+)

The plural form always ends in -t. Depending on the speaker, the plural ending used may be -it or just -t:

ilisaiji teacher
ilisaijit / ilisaijit teachers (3+)
itsivautaq chair
itsivauta/ itsivautait chairs (3+)
iqaluk fish
iqalu/ iqaluit fish (3+)

In nouns where the last vowel sound is a long vowel or a double vowel, the plural is formed by replacing the last consonant sound (if there is one) with -t:

uqaaluutiralaaq cell phone
uqaaluutiralaat cell phones (3+)
umiaq boat
umiat boats (3+)


With nouns that end in -t, the ending -it or -iit is added directly to the end of the word to form the plural:

angut man
angutit / angutiit men (3+)
uqaalaut phone
uqaalautit / uqaalautiit phones (3+)
titiraut pen
titirautit / titirautiit pens (3+)