Grammar » 13. 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 matuuk matuit
one door (two) doors (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 uqaalautiik illuuk
(two) tables (two) telephones (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 nuvujaak
cloud (two) clouds
  • if the object ends in a t, add the ending iik:
uqaalaut uqaalautiik
phone (two) phones
  • 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 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 qarasaujaralaak
laptop (two) laptops