Lesson 5: Affirmative and Negative

kimiwan na
is it raining?
ke'ya'pic na kimiwan
is it still raining?
ki'-kimiwan na ota'hhkosi'hk
did it rain yesterday?
mwac (dialects: (na)mwac and (na)mo'n~a for mwac and mo'n~a)
mwac n(i)kiske'n~(ih)te'n
i don't know, i don't know it
mo'n~a n(i)kiske'n~(ih)te'n
i don't know, i don't know it
mo'n~a kimiwan
it's not raining
mwac kimiwan
it's not raining
mwac ohci-kimiwan ota'hhkosi'hk
it didn't rain yesterday
mwac ce'skwa kimiwan
it's not raining yet
mo'n~a ce'skwa kimiwan
it's not raining yet
ta'n(i)si e'si-ki'sika'k
how is the weather?
Literally: how is the day?
ta'n(i)si ka'-isi-ki'sika'k
how was the weather?
Literally: how was the day?
ta'n(i)si ka'-isi-ki'sika'k ota'hhkosi'hk
how was the weather yesterday?

New Adverbs

indicator of a yes-or-no question
mo'n~a or mwac
not, no


Yes-or-no questions are questions to which the answer may be 'yes' or 'no.' In Cree, yes-or-no questions are formed from statements by placing the word in question at the beginning of the sentence, and then putting na after the word (sentences 1 to 3).

A situation is denied by using mwac or mo'n~a (not) with an indicative verb (sentences 1 to 3).

When mwac or mo'n~a is used with a verb in the past tense, the prefix ki'- is changed to ohci- (sentence 11).

Supplementary questions are questions formed with the words 'who?', 'what?', 'which?', 'when?', 'where?', 'why?' or 'how?' (sentences 14-16). How such questions are made up in Cree will be described later.

Note: when i is followed by e', only the e' is pronounced sometimes. Thus ta'n(i)si e'si-ki'sika'k may be pronounced as ta'n(i)s e'si-ki'sika'k


Using the pictures in lesson 3, the teacher should ask the student questions about the weather shown in the various pictures. The teacher should vary the questions, using both "How is the weather?', and yes-or-no questions like "Is it raining?", "Is it snowing?", etc.. The yes-or-no questions should be asked so that the student must answer 'yes' to some and 'no' to others.

The student should answer as honestly as possible. If the answer to a question is 'no,' then the student should tell what kind of weather the picture really shows.

Continue until the student shows by her answers that she understands all the questions.

Sample questions


  1. kimiwan na
  2. ta'n(i)si e'si-ki'sika'k
  3. mispon na
  4. n~ikwaskwan na
  5. kimiwan na
  6. mispon na
  7. ta'n(i)si e'si-ki'sika'k

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