Grammar » 5 » Asking Questions

Inuktut has a series of verb endings that are used just for asking questions. To ask a question, we add one of these endings to a verb root or affix. The verb ending indicates who we are asking about:
nigiven? Are you eating?
nigivâ nigijon? Is he / she eating?


Question endings have different forms depending on the sound that comes before them. After a root or affix that ends in a vowel, the question endings look like this:

tukisi- to understand
tukisivingâ? Do I understand?
tukisiven? Do you understand?
tukisi? / tukisijon*? Does he/she understand?
tukisivinok? Do we (2) understand?
tukisivitâ? Do we (3+) understand?
tukisivitek? Do you (2) understand?
tukisivise? Do you (3+) understand?
tukisijok? Do they (2) understand?
tukisivât? / tukisijon*? Do they (3+) understand?

* The question ending -jon? can be used either in the singular (Is he/she...?) or the plural (Are they...?)

Pay close attention to the fact that Inuktut has different endings for the dual (dealing with two objects or people) and the plural (three or more objects or people) :
2 people 3+ people
uinngavitek? uinngavise?
Are you two sleepy? Are you (3+) sleepy?
uinngajok? uinngajon?
Are the two of them sleepy? Are they (3+) sleepy?