Grammar » 13 » Where You Work & What You Do

In order to talk about where one works and what one does at work, there are some affixes and endings that are good to learn.


This affix is added to the end of a verb to indicate, a person who does the action described by the root. It shows up frequently in job titles:

tusaa- to hear a continous sound
tusaaji  an interpreter (literally, someone who hears a continuous sound)
kiu- to answer
kiuji  a receptionist
ilinniaqtitsi- to teach
ilinniaqtitsiji  a teacher


-ji is the form of the affix that is used with roots that end in a vowel sound.  After a consonant sound, -ti is used:

angunasut- to hunt
angunasutti  a hunter
miqsuq- to sew
miqsuqti  a seamstress


This affix -liri- is often added before -ji to talk about something one deals with or is involved with. The combination -liriji- is added to noun roots:

kiinaujaq money
kiinaujaliriji  someone who works with money (e.g. a banker or a finance officer)
uumajuq animal
uumajuliriji  a wildlife officer
maligaq law
maligaliriji  a lawyer



Many names of organizations end with the affix -kkut. Among its various meanings, -kkut is used to refer to a group of people (in this case the people who work at the organization):

paliisi police officer
paliisikkut police department
qattiriji firefighter
qattirijikkut fire department
kiinaujaliriji someone who deals with money
kiinaujalirijikkut an organization of people who deal with money (Dept. of Finance)
illuliriji housing officer
Illulirijikkut Housing Corporation

 -mi is a noun ending and is translated as ‘in’ or ‘at’ in English. It has a plural form -ni that we are using in this lesson:

illu house
illumi  in the house
illuni  in the houses (3+)

As mentioned above, the affix -kkut that we are using here with the names of organizations refers to a group of people. As a result, we have to use the plural ending -ni to talk about something that is happening within that organization:

illu + liriji + kkut + ni =  
illulirijikkunni in/at the Housing Corporation
qattiriji + kkut + ni =  
qattirijikkunni in/at the fire department

Note that according to the rules of Inuktut pronunciation, when the ending -ni is added to a root ending in -t, the final t softens and becomes an n sound. 

So, to the question:

Nami iqqanaijaqqit? Where do you work?

One could answer:

Kiinaujalirijikkunni iqqanaijaqtunga. I work at the Department of Finance.