All verbs have a subject - the person or thing that is doing the action. Verbs may also have an object - a person or thing that undergoes the action.
single verb endings
The simplest verb endings just tell us who or what the subject is:
|Ippaksaq tikilauqtunga Iqalungnut
I arrived in Iqaluit yesterday
|Angunasuktit utiramik nirilauqtut
When the hunters returned, they ate.
|subject: ukua (angunasuktit)|
If there is an object to the verb, it will take the -mik ending if it is singular, or the -nik ending if it is plural:
She is searching for an ulu.
I will help with the things that are to be sold.
double verb endings
Inuktut also has a series of double verb endings that indicate both the subject and the object. In this book, we show the relationship expressed in the double verb endings like this:
I saw him this morning.
|–jara: uvanga uumunga
I love you.
|–jagit: uvanga ilingnut
He wants to ask her if she knows.
|–janga: una uumunga
Could you find that out?
|–piuk: ivvit uumunga
…because she has to see the doctor
|–ramiuk: una uumunga
I will be happy if you tell me.
|–vinnga: ivvit uvannut
objects of double verbs
With double verb endings, the object does not take the -mik/-nik ending. This is an important difference from single verb endings.
|Single verb||Double verb|
I will buy some meat.
I will buy the meat.
subjects of double verbs
If the subject of a double verb is a singular noun, it takes the -up ending:
Subject (1 person):
The hunter saw it.
Subject (2 people):
The two hunters saw it.
Subject (3+ people):
The hunters saw it.