Grammar » 36 » Birthdays

Some notes on birthdays. 

nalliutijuq She has a birthday (that very day).
nalliutisuuq maimi. She has his/her birthday in May.

You will remember the affix -suuq (meaning “someone who does something regularly”) from such expressions as:

immulisuunguvit? immuliusuungujunga.
Do you take milk (with your coffee)? I take milk.
Inuktitusuunguva? ii, inuktituusuuq.
Does he/she speak Inuktitut? Yes, he/she speaks Inuktitut.


Remember that when making a simple statement in the third person (he / she / it), -suuq can appear, on its own, at the end of the word.

Sitipirimi nalliutisuuq.
His/her birthday is in September.


In any other situation, you normally add the verb -u-/-ngu- (meaning ‘to be’) after -suuq- followed by the appropriate ending:

Tisipirimi nalliutisuunguvit? Is your birthday in December?
Aagga, nalliutisuungujunga iipurimi. No, my birthday is in April.
Maatsimi nalliutisuunguva? Is his/her birthday in March?
ii, maatsimi nalliutisuuq. Yes, his/her birthday is in March.


Let’s say we want to ask someone how old they are: 

qatsit? how many?
qatsiuvit? How old are you (literally, how many are you?)

In answering, we do like in French and talk about how many years we “have”: 

30-nik + arraagu + qaq + tunga  
30-nik arraaguqaqtunga. I am 30 (literally, I have 30 years.)

Remember that when -qaq- comes together with -tuq-, we get the affix -lik :

Qatsiuva? How old is he/she ?
24-nik arraagulik. He/she is 24.


If, on the day of someone’s birthday, we want to ask them how old they are turning, we use the affix -liq-to express something that is changing:

Qatsinik arraguqaliqqit? How old are you turning today?
8-nik arraaguqaliqtunga. I am turning 8 (today).

Finally, if you are looking for something to write on a birthday card:

ᐅᓪᓗᒥ ᓇᓕᐅᑎᑦᓯᐊᕆᑦ ! Happy Birthday!