Grammar » 12 » Frequent or Habitual Actions

The afix -Katta- is used after verb roots to describe an action that one does regularly or frequently.

We can use it with the affix -tu- to talk about what we put in our tea or coffee.  Compare these two sentences:

immuk + tu + ven?  
immutuven ? Are you drinking milk?
immuk + tu + Katta + ven ? milk
immutuKattaven ?

Do you drink milk (regularly);

Do you take milk (in your tea or coffee)


Some more examples:

immuk + tu + Katta + vunga  
immutuKattavunga  I take milk.
immuk + tu + Katta + ngit + langa  
immutuKattangilanga I do not take milk.
sukarak + tu + Katta + ven  
sukarattuKattaven ? Do you take sugar?
sukarak + tu + Katta + vunga  
sukarattuKattavunga I take sugar.
sukarak + tu + Katta + ngit + langa  
sukaratuKattangilanga I do not take sugar.

It is important to note that, in English, when we talk about doing something regularly or habitually, we just use the simplest form of the verb.

If we say I eat fish, we are not talking about something that is happening at that moment, but rather what we do by habit or custom.

In Inuktut, one normally adds an affix such as -Kattak- to indicate this:

iKalummik nigiKattavunga.  I eat fish (often or regularly).
mitsuKattajuk unnusami She sews in the evening.
Nani suliaKattaven? Where do you work?
hâkinguaKattaKunga ukiuk tamât I play hockey every winter.