Grammar » 24. Because

In English, when we want to give a reason for something, we add a clause to a sentence that usually begins with the word “because”:

We are leaving because we are tired.

In Inuktut the clause that is underlined above is usually represented in one word. This word has a special ending that lets us know who we are talking about: 

anijjaanngittunga niaqunngugama I am not going out because I have a headache.


Here is a list of these endings:
niaqunngugama because I have a headache
niaqunngugavit because you (1) have a headache
niaqunngummat because he/she has a headache
niaqunngugannuk because we (2) have headaches
niaqunngugatta because we (3+) have headaches
niaqunngugatsik because you (2) have headaches
niaqunngugatsi because you (3+) have headaches
niaqunngummatik because they (2) have headaches
niaqunngummata because they (3+) have headaches


Adding these affixes to stems ending in k :
  • Working with the endings above, the first letter of the endings that begin in g changes to k
  • The endings above that begin with m do not change.  They delete the final -k of the stem:
nuvak- /nuvat- to have a cold
nuvakkama because I have a cold
nuvakkannuk because we (2) have colds
nuvakkatta because we (3+) have colds
nuvakkavit because you (1) have a cold
nuvakkatsik because you (2) have colds
nuvakkatsi because you (3+) have colds
nuvammat because he/she has a cold
nuvammatik because they (2) have colds
nuvammata because they (3+) have colds


Adding these affixes to stems ending in t:

  • The last letter of the root and the first letter of the affix both change to n.
  • The endings that begin in m are unchanged. They delete the final -t of the root:
tikit to arrive
tikinnama because I arrived
tikinnannuk because we (2) arrived
tikinnatta because we (3+) arrived
tikinnavik because you (1) arrived
tikinnatsik because you (2) arrived
tikinnatsi because you (3+) arrived
tikimmat because he/she arrived
tikimmatik because they (2) arrived
tikimmata  because they (3+) arrived


Adding these affixes to roots ending in q:

The last consonant of the stem is deleted and the affix begins with r:
nuvak + lauq- to have had a cold
nuvalaurama because I had a cold
nuvalaurannuk because we (2) had colds
nuvalauratta because we (3+) had colds
nuvalauravit because you (1) had a cold
nuvalauratsik because you (2) had colds
nuvalauratsi because you (3+) had colds
nuvalaurmat because he/she had a cold
nuvalaurmatik because they (2) had colds
nuvalaurmata because they (3+) had colds