Grammar » comparing people and things


To compare people or things in English, we use two affixes that we add directly to an adjective:

tall taller tallest



The good news is that in Inuktitut, you do more or less the same thing:
takijuq tall
takiniqsaq taller
takilaaq tallest
piujuq good
piuniqsaq better
piulaaq best


The only trick is that you need to drop the –juq / -tuq ending from the basic form of the adjective before adding -niqsaq or -laaq.


When –niqsaq is added to a stem ending in t, it changes the final t to n:
naittuq short
nainniqsaq shorter


When –laaq is added to a stem ending in a consonant, it deletes the final consonant:

naittuq short
nailaaq the shortest
In a full sentence, we normally would follow the words above with the verb -u / -ngu (to be) and the subject ending:
angijuq big
angilaaq biggest
angilaangujuq It is the biggest.
angilaangujunga I am the biggest.
To make a comparison, we then tack on the affix -mit to the person or thing to which a comparison is being made:
Ilisapimit takiniqsaujunga.
I am taller than Ilisapi.
amaruq qimmirmit anginiqsaq.
The wolf is bigger than the dog.

Note that in the last sentence above, when comparing an object in the third person, you have the option of dropping the -ujuq ending. The context makes the meaning of the sentence clear.

Keep in mind that when using personal pronouns to make comparisons, they don't follow a regular pattern:
uvanga me
uvannit than me
Uvannit takiniqsaujutit. You are taller than me.
ivvit you
ilinnit than you
Kinali ilinnit takiniqsauva? And who is taller than you?
ilissik the two of you
ilissinnit than the two of you
Ilissinnit nainniqsaujuguk. We two are shorter than the two of you.