Grammar » questions

Inuktut has a series of affixes that are used just for asking questions. To ask a question, we add one of these affixes to the end of a verb. The affix that is used changes depending on who the subject of the verb is. 
nirivit? niriva?
Are you eating? Is he eating?


The following affixes are used with roots that end in vowels:

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?


If you want to add these affixes to a root ending 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 the two of us coming in?
isiqqita? Are we (three or more) coming in?
isiqqisik? Are you two coming in?
isiqqisi? Are you (three or more) coming in?
isiqqak? Are the two of them coming in?
isiqqat? Are they (three or more) coming in?
If the verb 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 sinik- meaning to sleep. In the South Qikiqtaaluk dialect roots that end in -k change the final -k to -p before these endings:

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