Noun endings can be organized into different categories depending on how a noun is used in a sentence.
A noun can be used in its most basic form when it is the subject of the sentence. The subject is the person(s) or thing(s) that performs the action that is described.
The men would often play the drum.
the -up ending
A noun indicating a possessor (someone who owns or has a relation with another noun) may take the ending -up or related endings:
the door of the house
Arctic Bay’s landing strip
Peter’s younger brother
In some dialects, the -up ending may be shortened to -p.
Peter’s younger brother
This happens in all dialects when the ending follows two vowels:
the stern of the boat
-up is only added when the possessor is singular:
the man’s gun
the two men’s guns
the (3+) men’s guns
The -up ending is also used for the subject of a double person verb:
Mary loves him; the one Mary loves
In Inuktut, we can mark the object of a verb (the person or thing that undergoes the action) by adding the ending -mik to a noun if it is singular, or -nik if it is dual or plural:
He got a new parka.
He is making a big house.
Kiviuq maliksaqtuq inungmik tupirmut.
Kiviuq followed a person into the tent.
Ukungningak kamiingnik piuksaqtunga.
I like this pair of skin boots.
This group of endings is also used with words that describe or modify the object:
Qassinik tuktunik takuqqauvit?
How many caribou did you see?
Three of them.
This group of endings can also be used to describe the materials with which something is made:
He has a snow knife made of bone.
in, on, to, for, from
Nouns can be used to describe where someone is, or where they are coming from or going to. In this case the noun in the sentence that describes a location takes an ending. These endings, too, have a singular form and a dual/plural form:
One person got off the boat.
They are unloading things from the boats.
He is sitting in the boat.
They are carrying things to the boats.
through / by way of
These endings are used when a noun is a physical path to something or a means of moving from one place to another.
They are crossing over the ice.
They wanted him to go home by dogteam.
They got out through the window.
They got out through the windows.
The endings in this category are used to convey the idea of similarity to something else.
We are trying to do things like our ancestors.
He is losing his sight, like his grandfather.