Verbs

A List of Common Action Verbs

  1. Zhechké                      To Do
  2. Giwé                            To Go Home
  3. Giwsé                          To Hunt
  4. Ktege                          To plant  (h/s plants)
  5. Bidgé                          To Enter
  6. Zagjesé                       To Go Outside
  7. Mnekwé                     To Drink
  8. Wanké                        To Dig
  9. Wénkwéngé               To Drive
  10. Zgabyenge                 To steer, to drive
  11. Binjegé                       To Clean
  12. Gwdemojgé                To Fish
  13. Déwé’gé                     To Drum
  14. Gemo                          To sing  (h/s sings)
  15. Bmadgé                      To Swim
  16. Minké                         To Gather Berries
  17. Biskonyé                     To Get Dressed
  18. Giskonye                     To get undressed
  19. Kewabnoje                 To watch children  (babysitting)
  20. Gzhadawso                Another babysitting
  21. Migadi                         To Fight
  22. Mikchéwi                    To Work
  23. Anoki                          To work for hire
  24. Maji                             To Leave/Go
  25. Bsegwi                        To Get Up/Rise
  26. Nim’edi                       To Dance
  27. Chikaso                       To Play
  28. Bkeso                          To Bathe/to swim  (h/s bathes0
  29. Kedo                           To Say
  30. Neshnabémo             To Speak Indian Language
  31. Zhya/zhye                   To Go
  32. Bya/bye                       To Come/Arrive
  33. Wdema                       To Smoke
  34. Wdeme                       Another way to say to smoke
  35. Wisne                          To Eat
  36. Jibtebe                       To Sit
  37. Nibwe                         To Stand
  38. Bose                            To Ride
  39. Ye                                To be in a certain place
  40. Yawe                           State of being  (h/s is)
  41. Mzhena                      To seize, lay hold of
  42. Mawdo                       To gather
  43. Pkebna                       To pick, to reach up
  44. Dapna                         To pick, to reach down
  45. Dkobjege                    To close a circle, to end things
  46. Debnek                       Reach for s.t.
  47. Bgedna                       to put down s.t., to lay s.t. down
  48. Mdomneke                 To bead
  49. Gokpenage                 To make baskets
  50. Zisbakdoke                 To make sugar
  51. Msenagseke               To go to the movies, to make pictures
  52. Wjanda                       To cook
  53. Gigeno                        To cook
  54. Bmose                         To walk
  55. Bmepto                       To run
  56. Tkemse                       To cross over
  57. Bebamse                     To walk around, to walk about
  58. Zhonyamke                To have money
  59. Odanke                       To shop, to go to town
  60. Msenege                    to charge things, as in credit
  61. We’e, We’uh               To loan, to give credit
  62. Dbege                         To pay s.t.
  63. Dawe                           To buy and sell
  64. Gishnena                    To buy as in commercial buying
  65. Gishpnedo                  To buy, to shop
  66. Kigdo                          To speak, talk
  67. Nendek                       To think a certain way
  68. Nenmat                      To think a certain way about s.o.
  69. Nendem                      To think
  70. Nagdewenmat           To think of s.o.
  71. Nagdewendek           To think of s.t.
  72. Gchenenmat              To think a lot of s.o.
  73. Mba/mbe                    To sleep
  74. Nweshmo                   To rest
  75. Ensestek                     To understand
  76. Enseto                        To reason
  77. Nbwaka                      To reason
  78. Bsegwi                        To rise
  79. Doki                            To awake
  80. Bkezo                          To bathe, shower
  81. Gzinge                        To wash up
  82. Binchege                    To clean
  83. Binakchege                To clean
  84. Wawida                      To read
  85. Wawijge                     To read
  86. Wab                            To see
  87. Wabma                       To see s.o.
  88. Wabdan                      To see s.t.
  89. Mina                           To give
  90. Mingo                         To receive
  91. Shema                         To feed
  92. Shemgo                      To be fed
  93. Gzinwnage                 To wash dishes
  94. Bgedna                       To allow s.o. to do s.t.
  95. Bgednon                     To allow s.t.
  96. Binakwe’o                  To comb hair
  97. Gziyabde’o                 To brush teeth
  98. Mneschege                To put things in order, housework
  99. Doma                          To call s.o.

100.Giwse                         To hunt

Animate Action Verbs – Independent Indicative

Simply put, this is the one subject, one verb sentence.  I go, I walk, I run.  This basic pattern is one that you will need to recognize as we go forward.

Independent Indicative Verbs – The Short Form

            Nin (I)                         N + verb

            Gin (you)                    G + verb

            Win (he/she)              verb

            Ninan (we – )               N + verb + men

            Ginan (we + )              G + verb + men

            Ginwa (you pl.)          G + verb + m

            Winwa (they)             verb + k

The first 19 verbs on the previous list end with an “é” sound.  These verbs are considered regular “é” verbs, and are the easiest to work with.  Here are some examples:

            Ngiwé                         I go home

            Ggiwé                         You go home

            Giwé                            He/she goes home

            Ngiwémen                  We (-) go home

            Ggiwémen                  We (+) go home

            Ggiwém                      You (pl.) go home

            Giwék                          They go home

Verbs 21 – 26 are “i” verbs, and are formed in this example:

            Nmikchéwi                 I work

            Gmikchéwi                 You work

            Mikchéwi                    He/she works

            Nmikchéwimen          We (-) work

            Gmikchéwimen          We (+) work

            Gmikchéwim              You (pl.) work

            Mikchéwik                  They work

Verbs 27 – 30 are “o” verbs, and are formed as in this example:

            Nked                           I say

            Gked                           You say

            Kedo                           He/she says

            Nkedmen                    We (-) say

            Gkedmen                    We (+) say

            Gkedom                      You say (pl)

            Kedwik                       They say

Verbs 31 – 34 are irregular verbs.

            Nzhya                          I go

            Gzhya                          You go

            Zhyé                            He/she goes

            Nzhyamen                  We (-) go

            Gzhyamen                  We (+) go

            Gzhyam                       You (pl.) go

            Zhyék                          They go

            Nbya                           I come

            Gbya                            You come

            Byé                              He/she comes

            Nbyamen                    We (-) come

            Gbyamen                    We (+) come

            Gbyam                        You (pl) come

            Byék                            They come

            Ndodma                     I smoke

            Gdodma                      You smoke

            Wdemé                       He/she smokes

            Ndodmamen              We (-) smoke

            Gdodmamen              We (+) smoke

            Gdodmam                  You (pl.) smoke

            Wdemék                     They smoke

Some further words and examples in conjugation.

            Nwisen                       I eat

            Gwisen                        You eat

            Wisne                          He/she eats

            Nwisnemen                We (-) eat

            Gwisnemen                We (+) eat

            Gwisnem                    You (pl.) eat

            Wisnik                         They eat

            Njibtep                       I sit

            Gjibtep                        You sit

            Jibtebe                       He/she sits

            Njibtebmen                We (-) sit

            Gjibtebmen                We (+) sit

            Gjibtebem                  You (pl) sit

            Jibtebwak                  They sit

            Nnibwe                       I stand

            Gnibwe                       You stand

            Nibwe                         He/she stands

            Nnibwemen               We (-) stand

            Gnibwemen                We (+) stand

            Gnibwem                    You (pl.) stand

            Nibwek                       They stand

            Nbos                           I ride

            Gbos                           You ride

            Bose                            He/she rides

            Nbosmen                    We (-) ride

            Gbosmen                    We (+) ride

            Gbosem                      You (pl.) ride

            Boswik                        They ride

Additional suffixes…

-wak, -wek, and –wik often appear at the end of Win and Winwa verb forms. 

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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