On independent tenses and demonstratives


Tense forms and/or markers

Nde                     present

Nge                     immediate future

Ngi                     past

Nwi                     future

Nda                     future intent

Some verbs:

Maji                    leave/go/h/s is leaving-going-goes

Mnekwe                  to drink/h/s is drinking-drinks

Wisne                   to eat/h/s is eating-eats

Bembeto/bmeto            to run/h/e is running-runs

Giwse                   to hunt/h/s is hunting-hunts

Mikjewi                 to work/h/e is working-works

Nimedi                  to dance/h/s is dancing-dances

Negmo/wgemo             to sing/h/s is singing-sings

Mbwachewe               to visit/h/s is visiting-visits

Dawe                    to buy-sell/h/s is selling-buying

Wabma                   to see/h/s sees s.o.

Zhya-zhye               to go/h/s is going-coming

Tadi                    to gamble/h/s is gambling-gambles

Wenkwenge               to drive/h/s drives-is driving

Zgabyenge               to drive/h/s is driving-drives

Emphatic pronouns:

Nin                     I, me, my, mine

Gin                     you, your, yours

Win                     he/she, her/him

Ninan                   we – you

Ginan                   we + you

Ginwa                   all of you

Winwa                   they


Inanimate:              (singular)

Ode                     this

I                       that

E I                     that over there

Inanimate:              (plural)

Node                    these

Ni                      those

E ni                    those over there

Animate:                (singular)

Ode                     this

O                       that

Ago                     that over there

Animate:                (plural)

Gode                    these

Gi                      those

E gi                    those over there

Some units of time factors:

Pkonyak                 tonight/night

Ngom                    today/now

Wabek                   tomorrow

Wnago                   yesterday

Odo pi                  at this time

Ode she pi              right now


Ni pi je                where

Ni je pi                when

Ni je wej               how

Ni je o                 who

Wegni je                what

Ni je wej               which

Ne                      refers to query asked

A format for constructing some simple phrases:





Nda_______________________odo pi.

Nde_______________________ode she pi.

Cho ngi_____________________si.

Cho wi ka nwi______________________si.

Ni je pi wa____________________yen (yek) ?

Ni pi je ga_____________________yen (yek) ?

Ni je pi gwi____________________yen (yek) ?







Neko ngi_______________________________

Gwi___________________ne wabek ?

Gwi___________________ne pkonyak ?

Gwi___________________ne ngom ?

Gwi_____________________ngom edawat gi neshnabek.

Some phrases Potawatomi phrases:

Nwi nokana o ngwes enizhokmoshet wabek ewzhegeyan i nwigwamen.

I will ask my son to help me build/fix my house.

Nwi pa zhyamen i kche odan ewi gishpnedoyak anet mingaswenen.

We are going to the city to do some shopping for gifts.

Nge wjanda anet ni wawnon mine gi penyek wa je mijyak pkonyak.

I am cooking some eggs and potatoes that we can eat tonight.

Nda she bmose odanek ewi mawjeshnoyak ibe.

I should walk to town where we will meet.

Nge gbashma o negeshesnen wa je wisniywgo wabek emawjeshnowat gi neshnabek.

I am cooking some sausages to eat tomorrow at our Indian gathering.

Nde she pabmades ibe kche odan ewi mbwacheweyan gi ndenwemagnek.

I am going to travel to the city to visit those relatives of mine.

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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