Grammar » comparing people and things

To compare people or things in English, we add the endings -er or -est to the end of an adjective:

tall tallertallest

The good news is that in Inuktitut, you do more or less the same thing:

takijuqtakiniqsaq takilaaq

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

Note that when -laaq is added to a stem ending in a consonant, it deletes the final consonant.

Remember that all of these words can be used - on their own- to describe someone in the third person (he/she/it).  If we want to describe you or me, we have to add the verb -u /-ngu (to be) between the description and the verb ending:

the biggest
angilaaq He / she / it is the biggest
angilaangujungaI am the biggest
takiniqsaqHe / she / it is taller.
takiniqsaujutitYou are taller.

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, because we are comparing something in the third person, we don't need to add the u+juq ending.  We can just say "anginiqsaq."

Keep in mind that when using personal pronouns to make comparisons, they follow an an irregular pattern: 

uvannit  than me
Uvannit takiniqsaujutit. You are taller than me.
than you
Kinali ilinnit takiniqsauva?
(And) who is taller than you?
the two of you
ilissinnitthan the two of you
Ilissinnit nainniqsaujuguk. We (2) are shorter than you (2).