Lesson 10: A few ailments and discomforts

'I'm cold.'
kikawacin na
'Are you cold?'
ke'ya'pic na kikawacin
'Are you still cold?'
'He is cold', 'She is cold'
kawaciw na
'Is he cold?', 'Is she cold?'
'I'm hot.'
kikisison na
'Are you hot?'
'He or she is hot.'
kisisow na
'Is he or she hot?'
'I'm sick.'
kita'hkosin na
'Are you sick?'
'He or she is sick.'
'They are sick.'
'I have a cold.' (W. dialects: no'takikomin for n(i)to'takikomin.)
kito'takikomin na
'Do you have a cold?' (W. dialects: ko'takikomin for kito'takikomin.)
'He or she has a cold.'
'I am well (after an illness).', 'I have recovered.'
kimin~o-aya'n na
'Have you recovered?'
'He or she has recovered.'
'They have recovered.'
'You're drunk.'
'He or she is drunk.'
'They are drunk.'

New Verbs

'be cold'
'be hot'
'be sick'
'have a cold'
'be well (after and illness)', 'be recovered'
'be drunk'


In Cree, as in English, when a verb is used in some way other than to make a command, various additional words and affixes have to occur with it, and sometimes even the verb itself is changed. For example, in English, 'Go home!' is a command. Among the additions which are used with theis verb to make statements are the following:

"I am ...-ing" in "I am going home."
"He is ...-ing" in "He is going home."
"I will ..." in "I will go home."
"He will ..." in "He will go home."

And with 'go' changed to 'went':

"I ..." in "I went home."
"He ..." in "He went home."

Other additions make questions:

"Is he ...-ing" in "Is he going home?"
"Will he ..." in "Will he go home?"
"Did he ..." in "Did he go home?"

Similarly, in Cree, when a verb is used to make a statement or to ask a question, it must take certain additions and changes.

Note in the English examples just above that the words and affixes added to the verb, and the change in the verb, give three kinds of information:

  1. The words 'I' and 'he' tell who is doing the going. These words are called personal pronouns. (The rest of the English personal pronouns are 'we', 'she', 'it', 'they' and 'you'.) All the other added words, the affixes, the change from 'go' to 'went', and even the very order of the words in some cases, either--
  2. tell the time at which the going takes place, namely, in the past, present or future, or--
  3. distinguish the statements from the questions.

How some of this information is expressed in Cree has already been described, namely:

(The student should review sections 3 through 6 if any of these statements are unclear.)

The Cree personal prounouns still have to be presented. When used with a verb to express the one who does something or is something, the Cree personal pronouns are all affixes. The affixes that are used with a verb to make a statement or ask a yes-or-no question are called indicative personal affixes, because a verb wwith an indicative personal affix is an indicative verb.

The following indicative personal affixes are illustrated in the sentences:

ni- ... - n "I"
ki- ... -n "you(singular)", that is "you" in speaking to only one person
-w "he" or "she"
-wak "they (animate)"

Before a vowel, t is inserted after ni- and ki- (sentences 10, 11), and o is replaced by o' after this t (sentences 14, 15). (In the western dialects o is replaced by o' and nit- and kit- are then replaced by n- and k- (sentences 14, 15).)

Verbs ending in e' change the e' to a' before -n (sentence 21).


Say the six new verbs of this lesson with each of the four indicative personal affixes.

In Cree, as in any language, ki- ... -n "you" occurs more frequently in yes-or-no questions than in statements, and ni- ... -n "I" occurs more frequently in statements than in yes-or-no questions. Thus, we are more likely to say "I'm cold." and "Are you cold?" than "Am I cold?" and "You are cold." Therefore, it is a good idea in doing exercises like this one to use ki- ... -n with na, and to avoid na with ni- ... -n, but -w "he, she", and -wak "they" should be practiced in both statements and yes-or-no questions.

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