Lesson 18: Where?, here, and there

This page entered by: Kevin Russell (Linguistics, University of Manitoba)

tán(i)té éyáyan
'Where are you?', 'Where are you living?'
tán(i)té éyát
'Where is he?', 'Where is he living?'
tán(i)té wíkiyan
'Where is your home?'
tán(i)té wíkit
'Where is his home?'
tán(i)té ká-(kí-)ayáyan
'Where were you?'
tán(i)té (ká-)atoskéyan
'Where are you working?'
tán(i)té ká-(kí-)nipáyan
'Where did you sleep?'
tán(i)té ká-(kí-)nipát
'Where did he sleep?'
tán(i)té ká-(kí-)nipácik
'Where did they sleep?'
tán(i)té kipápá
'Where is your father?'
tán(i)té émihkwának
'Where are the spoons?'
'Where is he?'
'Where are they (animate)?'
'Where is it?'
'Where are they (inanimate)?'
tániwa kimámá
'Where is your mother?'
tániwa kipápá
'Where is your father?'
tániwa otápánásk
'Where is the sled or car?'
tániwékák otápánáskwak
'Where are the sleds or cars?'
tániwé wiyás
'Where is the meat?'
tániwéhá mas(i)nahikana
'Where are the books?'
óta n(i)tayán
'I'm right here.'
an(i)té wíkiw
'His home is over there.'
nété ayáw
'He's over there in the distance.'
nété astéwa
'They (inanimate) are over there in the distance.'

New words




'be (at a place); live (at a place)'
'live (at a place)', ... wíkiw 'his home is...'
'it is (at a place)'

Adverbs of place:

'over here'
'right here'
'over there'
'right there'
'over there in the distance'
'right there in the distance'


Note that tán(i)té can be used without any verb; it then means 'where is?', 'where are?' (sentences 10, 11)

More indicative personal affixes:

'they (inanimate)'

Note that these suffixes are not used with ayá 'be (at a place)', but with another verb, asté, which has the same meaning as ayá. This is a typical Cree pattern: there are two verbs for many meanings. One is used with the animate suffixes 'he, she', 'they (animate)' and with 'I'and 'you'. The other is used with the inanimate affixes 'it' and 'they (inanimate)'.

A verb used with 'he' is called an animate verb, and one used with 'it' is called an inanimate verb.

Inanimate verbs have no command forms (to make a command, use the animate verb of the same meaning), so they will be cited in the present indicative form with 'it'.

ayá changes to éyá in the present tense in supplementary questions, just like the verbs beginning is is or it.

isi-ayá and isi-wíki are sometimes used instead of plain ayá and wíki, for example:

tán(i)si ési-ayáyan.
'Where are you?', 'Where are you living?'
tán(i)si ési-wíkit.
'Where is his home?'

Note: when é is followed by é, the two vowels are sometimes pronounced like one é. Thus, tán(i)té éyáyan is sometimes pronounced tán(i)téyáyan.


Provide an answer to each of the questions in sentences 1-19, saying that the person(s) or thing(s) in question are here or there. Include the verb in you answer, saying for example 'It is here', not just 'Here'.

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