Grammar » 9 » The Negative

In English we often use the word not to turn an affirmative sentence into a negative one:

It is sunny. It is not sunny.


In Inuktut, to express the negative, we often insert the affix -nngit- just before the verb ending:

nuvuja + nngit + tuq =  
nuvujanngittuq It is not cloudy.
qanniq + qqau + nngit + tuq =  
qanniqqaunngittuq It did not snow earlier.


When -nngit- is added to a root that ends in a consonant (q-, k-, t-), it deletes the final consonant:

silalu+ nngit + tuq =  
silalunngittuq It is not raining.
qanniq + lau+ nngit + tuq =  
Ippatsaq qannilaunngittuq It did not snow yesterday.
Here are some more examples of how the negative is used:
iqqanaijaqtut They are working.
iqqanaijanngittut They are not working.
naammaktuq It is O.K.
naammanngittuq It’s not O.K.
tukisijunga I understand.
tukisinngittunga I don’t understand.
qaijugut We 3 are coming
qainngittugut We 3 are not coming.