Grammar » future tense


Inuktitut has a number of ways of talking about events that will happen in the future.

One way is to insert the affix -niaq between the verb and the subject ending. -niaq- is used only for events that will happen later the same day.

Suvit? Suniaqpit?
What are you doing? What will you be doing?
   
nirijunga
niriniaqtunga
I am eating I will be eating

When -niaq- is added to a root that ends in q, the q changes to r.

kaapituq + niaq + tunga = kaapiturniaqtunga.
  I will be drinking coffee.
When -niaq- is added to a root ending in k, it changes the final k to n.
malik + niaq + tuq = malinniaqtuq
He is going to be here.
When -niaq- is added to a root ending in t, it changes the final t to n.
tavvaniit + niaq + tuq = tavvaniinniaqtuq
  He is going to be here.

The double n above is not just a quirk of spelling. When you pronounce this word, you have to hold the n sound for twice as long as you would a single n.

In Iqaluit, -langa- is the affix that is most commonly used for an event in the immediate future.  -langa- can be attached directly to a root that ends in a vowel.  When attached to a root ending in a consonant, it deletes the final consonant:
Ullumi aullalangajuq He is leaving town today.
-laaq- is another affix that is used to talk about the future. -laaq- is used for events that will be happening the next day or further into the future.
Arvialianiaqtunga Arvialialaaqtunga

I am going to Arviat (later that day)

I will be going to Arviat (sometime in the future).
 
takuniaqpugut takulaarivugut
See you soon See you later/ See you then.
 
pinasuarusiulaaqtumi next week
If -laaq- is added to a stem that ends in a consonant, it deletes the last consonant.
aullaq + laaq + tuq = aullalaaqtuq.
  He will leave town.