Grammar » 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 Inuktitut, we use different endings to distinguish between two of something and more than two of something:

matu matuuk matuit
one door
(two) doors (three) 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 uqaalautiik illuuk
(two) tables
(two) telephones
(two) buildings

 

Here's some instructions on changing a noun from its singular form to the dual:

  • if the object ends in a vowel, double the last vowel and add k:
nuvuja nuvujaak
cloud (two) clouds

  • if the object ends in a t, add the ending iik:
paippaamuurijjut paippaamuurijjutiik
printer (two) printers


  • if it ends in any consonant other than t, delete the last consonant, double the last vowel, and add k:
kamik kamiik
skin boot
(two) skin boots
   
qarasaujaq qarasaujaak
computer (two) computers


remember: that in Inuktitut, 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:

nunannguaqnunannguak
map(two) maps