Grammar » 29 » Possessions & Relations

In English we have words that we put before nouns to indicate who they belong to:

my jacket your parka

In Inuktut, we add an affix to the end of the noun. The above would be translated:

jaikaga qulittaujait

The same endings can be used for possessions or relations:

ataataga my father
irniit your son

In English the words that indicate possession: my, your, our, etc. are fairly straightforward. There is only one form that we use before any noun, be it singular or plural:

my car my cars



illuga my house
illuit your (1) house
illunga his / her house
illuvuk our (2) house
illuvut our (3+) house
illusi your (2+) house
illungat their house



(i) For nouns that end in vowels, you just add the ending.

If these endings are added to a noun that ends in a consonant, the last consonant is deleted:

jaikak jacket
jaikaga my jacket
qimmiq dog
qimmisi your (2+) dog
allavvik office
allavvingat their office


(ii) -ga (my) has a second form, -ra, that is used after any noun that ends in -q:

nasaq hat
nasara my hat
qulittaujaq parka
qulittaujara my parka

(iii) For the Inuktut version of 'your' just add -t (instead of -it) to roots that end in two vowels:

tui shoulder
tuit your shoulder
qiluaq belt
qiluat your belt



panik daughter
paniikka(k) my two daughters
panivuk our (2+) two daughters
paniikkik your two daughters
panisik your (2+) two daughters
paningik his/her/their two daughters
  • The last vowel sound of the root is lengthened before the endings -kkak and -kkik.
  • All dual endings delete the last consonant sound of the root to which they are added.
  • The endings for “his / her” and “their” are the same. Context makes it clear who you are speaking of.



irniq son
irnikka my sons (3+)
irnivut our sons (3+)
irnitit your (1) sons (3+)
irnisi your (2+) sons (3+)
irningit his/her/their sons (3+)
  • All plural possessive endings delete the last consonant of roots they are added to.
  • The endings for “her/his” and “their” are the same. Context makes it clear who you are speaking of.


In English, when we want to name a person that something belongs to, we add an apostrophe + s to the person's name, followed by the object:

Mary's car Piita's dog


In Inuktut, these three sentences would be written this way:

Mialiup nunasiutinga Piitaup qimminga
  • Note that the affix -up is attached to the possessor's name, much like apostrophe + s is used in English.
  • the affix -nga is added to the person or thing that is possessed if it is singular; -ngik if it is dual; and -ngit if it is plural.
arnaup qullinga the woman's qulliq
angutiup pualungik the man's mittens (2)
Naullaup qimmingit Naullaq’s dogs (3+)