Grammar » 7 » Future Tense

To talk about actions or events that will be happening in the future, affixes are inserted between the verb root that describes the action and the verb ending.  The affix that is used depends on how far into the future the verb will take place:

The Immediate Future

To talk about event that will happen later the same day, insert the affix -niak- between the verb root and the ending:

suvit? What are you doing?
suniakKen? What will you be doing later?
nigivunga I am eating.
niginiakKunga. I will be eating.

Notice how the verb endilngs for both statements start with -K :

nigiven? Are you eating?
niginiakKen? Will you be eating?
nigivunga I am eating.
niginiakKunga I will be eating.
aullavitek? Are you (2) departing?
aullaniakKitek? Will you (2) be departing?
kâfittuvugut We (3+) are drinking coffee.
kâfittuniakKugut We (3+) will be drinking coffee.

The above pattern is followed when the person we are talking about is I, we or you.  When we are talking about he, she, it or they, normally -niak- changes to -niat- and the verb ending starts with -t :

Ullumi tikiniattuk. She will arrive today.
Unnusak aullaniattut. They (3+) will depart this afternoon.


Events farther in the Future

-lâk- is an affix used for events that will be happening the next day or further into the future. Compare the following pairs of words:

aullaniakKunga I am departing later today.
aullalâkKunga I will be departing (tomorrow or later).
suliaKaniakKugut We will be working (later the same day).
suliaKalâkKugut We will be working (tomorrow or later).
When we are talking about he, she, it or they, normally -lâk- changes to -lât- and the verb ending starts with -t :
umiatulâttuk He will be boating.
ilinnialâttut They will be studying.