A simple reminder lesson

Most used prefixes

The following are the most used prefixes in the language as they deal with various types of tenses.  Also a little explanation on animate and inanimate prefixes.  The i for inanimate objects is singular and stands for it, that, the, depending on the sentence.  The ni is plural and stands for these, those, them, the.  So we have:

Inanimate i singular, and inanimate ni for plural objects.  Also remember that inanimate plurals end in the letter N.

Animate o for singular and gi for plural.  Remember that animate plurals end in the letter K.

WA- Future tense.  GA- Past tense.  E- Present tense.

NGI-I- Past tense.  NWI-I- Future tense.  NDE- Present tense.  NDA- I could, can, should.

WI- h/s Future tense.  WGI- Past tense.

GWI- Future tense.  GGI- Past tense.  GDE- Present tense.  GDA- You could, can, should.

NINAN – us, exclusive.

Ninan nwi shyamen.

Ninan ngi shyamen

Ninan nde shyamen

Ninan nda shyamen

GINWA – you guys.

Ginwa gwi shyam.

Ginwa ggi shyam

Ginwa gde shyam

Ginwa gda shyam

WINWA – They are.

Winwa wi shyek

Winwa gi shyek

Winwa da shyek

GINAN – us, inclusive

Ginan gwi shyamen.

Ginan ggi shyamen

Ginan gde shyamen

Ginan gda shyamen

The following prefixes and suffixes are used to denote past tense, present tense, future tense, and plurals of the subject.  The prefixes and suffixes are BOLD so that you can see a pattern in the language usage.

NI PI JE – Where (We will use “where” to make simple sentences.)

E – Present tense  WA – Future tense  GA – Past tense

  1. Ni pi je E shya yen?  Where are you going?
  2. NI pi je E shya yek?  Where are you guys going?
  3. Ni pi je wa shya yen?  Where are you going?
  4. Ni pi je wa shya yek?  Where are you guys going?
  5. Ni pi je ga shya yen?  Where did you go?
  6. NI pi je ga shya yek?  Where did you guys go?

NI JE PI – When (We will now use “when” to make some sentences)

WA/DA/GA

  1. Ni je pi wa shya yen?  When are you going there?
  2. Ni je pi wa shya yek?  When are you guys going there?
  3. Ni je pi ga shya yen?  When did you go there?
  4. Ni je pi ga shya yek?  When did you guys go there?
  5. Ni je pi da shya yen?  When could you go?
  6. Ni je pi da shya yek?  When could you guys go?

NWI/NGI        WABEK – TOMORROW

  1. Wabek nwi shya.  I am going there tomorrow.
  2. Wabek nwi shya men.  We are going there tomorrow.
  3. Wabek wi shye wak.  He is going tomorrow.
  4. Wabek wi shyek.  They are going tomorrow.

NWI/NGI        WNAGO – YESTERDAY

  1. Wnago ngi shya.  I went yesterday.
  2. Wnago ngi shya men.  We went yesterday.
  3. Wnago gi shye wak.  S/he went yesterday.
  4. Wnago gi shyek.  They went yesterday.

NGOM – NOW, TODAY

  1. Ngom nwi shya.  I am going there today.
  2. Ngom nwi shya men.  We are going there today.
  3. Ngom shye wak.  S/he is going there today.
  4. Ngom wi shyek.  They are going there today.

Author: neaseno

I was born on Powers Bluff in Wood County, Wisconsin, into a traditional community of Neshnabek. I was raised speaking only native languages, and learned to speak English upon entering school at the age of 6. As of this writing, I am one of 5 remaining Heritage Fluent Speakers of Potawatomi.

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