» Qanuittuunirainiq

Adjectives in Inuktut consist of a root and an ending.

the thing that is good; It is good.
piu + juq
the thing that is small; It is small.
mikit + tuq
the thing that is dry; It is dry.
paniq + tuq
the two things that are red;
aupaq + tuuk
the things (3+) that are black;
qirniq + tut


Adjective endings

Endings for adjectives have a singular, dual and plural form and they change the first letter depending on whether the root they are added to ends in a vowel or a consonant.

  ending following a
vowel (i, u, a)
ending following a
consonant (q, k, t)
to be cold
to be white
singular (1) qiujuq qakuqtuq
dual (2) qiujuuk qakuqtuuk
plural (3+) qiujut qakuqtut

Adjectives can be used as a statement about someone or something:

Angut mikittuq.
The man is small.

Or, they can modify another noun in the sentence:

Allarutimik qausiqtumik niaquup tunusunganut illirijauqattauqput.
A wet cloth used to be applied to the back of the head.

Adjectives often behave like nouns and are followed by noun endings:

uqaluutiralaaqaqtunga.   (qirniq + tuq + mik)

I have a black cellphone.

Nutaarmik pijumajuq   (nutaaq + mik)
He/she wants a new one.

If the describing word is deals with a noun that has a -mik / -mi / -mit / -mut ending, the describing word takes that ending as well:

Allaqtara allarutimut qausiqtumut.
I wiped it with a wet cloth.

In other situations, adjectives behave like verbs when they describe people in the first person (uvanga, uvaguk, uvagut) or second person (ivvit, ilissik, ilissi).

qiujunga I am cold.
qiujut They are cold.
qiujusik The two of you are cold.



ending following a
vowel (i, u, a)
ending following a
consonant (q, k, t)
to be cold
to be white
the better one
the smaller one
the best one
the smallest one
the best one
the smallest one

-mit / -nit are used in comparing people or objects, similar to the word “than” in English:

Aniga uvannit anginiqsaq.
My brother is taller than me.

Ujarak Piitamit sannginiqsaq.
Ujarak is stronger than Peter.

Maata makkungniqsaq ilingnit.
Martha is younger than you.

Aani innauniqsaq ataatannit.
Annie is older than my father.

To indicate that two people or objects have similar qualities, one uses the affix -tigi-.

Nukara uvattut angitigijuq.
My younger brother is as tall as me.

Ukua piktut piutigijut.
These ones are as good as yours.

The affix -tigi- should always be attached to the describing word and not to the question word qanuq:

Qanuq angitigiva nukait?
How tall is your younger sibling.

The ending -lliqpaaq- is also used to describe the order of things or the position:

sivulliqpaaq- the very first one
kingulliqpaaq- the very last one
akulliqpaaq- the one in the very middle
qulliqpaaq- the one on top
ungalliqpaaq- the farthest one

All of the above words can be followed by -u- (or -ngu- after a double vowel) in order to express them as verbs:

Qamutaujara sukkaniqsaujuq.
My snowmobile is faster.

Jordin Tootoo sivulliqpaangulluni Nunavummiunit niuruaqtaulauqtuq Haakiqtirjuarnut.
Jordin Tootoo was the the first from Nunavut to be drafted by the NHL.

Tanna kingulliqpaangulauqtuq.
That was the last one.