Lesson 11: At home and away

'I am going home.', 'I am on the way home.'
kiki'wa'n na
'Are you going home?', 'Are you on the way home?'
'He or she is going home.', 'He or she is on the way home.'
ki'we'w na
'Is he or she going home?', 'Is he or she on the way home?'
'They are going home.', 'They are on the way home.'
'I went home.'
'He or she went home.'
ki'htwa'm ki'-ki'we'w
'He or she went home again.'
mwac ohci-ki'we'w
'He or she didn't go home.'
'I'm going to go home.', 'I want to go home.'
se'ma'k na kiwi'-ki'wa'n
'Are you going to go home right now?', 'Do you want to go home immediately?'
'He or she is going to go home.', 'He or she wants to go home.'
mwac we'ki'we'w
'He or she doesn't want to go home'
kiki'-apin na ota'hkosi'hk
'Were you in yesterday?', 'Were you at home yesterday?'
ki'-apiw ota'hkosi'hk
'He or she was in yesterday.'
ota'hkosi'hk ki'-apiw
'He or she was in yesterday.'
ka-apin na anohc
'Will you be in today?'
'I'll be in.'
kitatoska'n na
'Are you working?'
'I'm working.'
ke'ya'pic atoske'w
'He or she is still working.'
mwac n(i)to'hci-atoska'n ota'hkosi'hk
'I didn't work yesterday.'
(W. dialects: no'hci- for n(i)to'hci-.)
mwac n(i)ka-atoska'n wa'pahke'
'I won't work tomorrow.'
'I want to work.'
'He or she want's to work.'
'He or she will work.'
'I'm going to go hunting.', 'I want to go hunting.'
kiwi'ma'ci'n na
'Are you going to go hunting.', 'Do you want to go hunting?'
wa'pahke' na ta-ma'ci'wak
'Will they go hunting tomorrow?'
n(i)kosis ki'ki'we'w
'My son went home.'
ki'ki'we'w n(i)ta'nis
'My daughter went home.'
n(i)pa'pa' ki'-apiw ota'hkosi'hk
'My father was in yesterday.'
ota'hkosi'hk n(i)pa'pa' ki'-apiw
'My father was in yesterday.'
wa'pahke' na anikik na'pe'wak ta-ma'ci'wak
'Will those men hunt tomorrow?', 'Is it tomorrow that those men will hunt?'
anikik na na'pe'wak ta-ma'ci'wak wa'pahke'
'Will those men hunt tomorrow?', 'Is it tomorrow that those men will hunt?'
otakikomiwak na o'kok iskwe's(i)sak
'Do these girls have colds?'
o'kok iskwe's(i)sak otakikomiwak
'These girls have colds.'

New Words


'sit; be in, be at home'
'hunt, go hunting'


'right now, immediately'


ni- and ki- in the indicative personal affixes go before the tense prefixes ki'-, ohci-, and wi'- (sentences 6, 10, 11, 14, 22, 27, 28). ni- and ki- plus ohci- yield n(i)to'chi- and kito'chi- (W. dialects no'hci- and ko'hci-.) (sentence 23).

ni- plus ta- results in n(i)ka- (sentences 18, 24).

ki- plus ta- results in ka- (sentence 17).

Note that api has two meanings, 'sit' (section 6) and 'be at home, be in.'

Note that wi'- has two meanings, 'going to' and 'want to'. To avoid ambiguity the prefix no'hte'- can be used in place of wi'- in the meaning 'want to' (sentences 24, 25).

In Cree, as in English, a noun can be used with a verb in a sentence where the noun tells the one who does something or is something, and the verb tells what the noun does or is (sentences 30-37). A noun used in this way is called the subject of the verb. Thus, in sentences 30-37, 'my son', 'my daughter', 'my father', 'those men' and 'these girls' are subjects of 'went home', 'was in', 'will hunt' and 'have colds'.

In Cree, such sentences are different from their English translations in the following two ways:

  1. In English, the subject noun generally comes before the verb. In Cree you say first whichever you think of first, or whichever you feel contains the most important or novel information.
  2. In Cree, the verb must have a personal pronoun affix: 'he or she' when the subject is animate singular, 'it' when the subject is inanimate singular, 'they (animate)' when the subject is animate plural, and 'they (inanimate)' when the subject is inainmate plural. hen the subject is inainmate plural.

Accordingly, literal translations of sentences 30-37 are:

A Cree demonstrative pronoun can be placed before a noun; the meaning is the same as wehn an English demonstrative pronoun precedes a noun, for example:

awa na'pe'w
'this man'
ana na'pe'w
'that man'
o'kok iskwe's(i)sak
'these girls' (sentences 36, 37)
anikik na'pe'wak
'those men' (sentences 34, 35)


  1. Say all the verbs in this lesson with each of the four indicative personal affixes. Include ki'we' in addition to the three new verbs. Say them in all four tenses.
  2. Take sentences 8, 9, 13-17, 21-24, and 30-37, and replace the verb in each by various other verbs from this and previous sections, for example, sentence 33, 'My father was in yesterday' can be changed to 'My father worked yesterday', 'My father hunted ysterday', etc.

Warning: ki'a'hkosi- 'was or were sick' is often used for 'had a baby, gave birth.'

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