On Wabma and various conjugations


Wabma                           to see someone

Wabmasi                         refers to seeing someone/must be preceded by

                                      proper prefixes.

Wabmak                         to see them

Wabmasik                       refers to seeing someone/must be preceded by

                                      proper prefixes.

Nwabma                         I see him/her

Nwabmak                       I see them

Gwabma                         you see him/her

Gwabmak                       you see them

Wabman                         he/she sees him/her

Nwabmasi                      reference to seeing him/her/needs prefix cho

                                      in front of it

Nwabmasik                    I don’t see them

Gwabmasi                      you don’t see him/her

Gwabmasik                    you don’t see them

Wabmasin                       he/she doesn’t see him/her/them

Wabmasimen                  we didn’t or are not going to see h/h or them

                                      needs prefix cho                                

Wabmek                         see (singular) Joe ngi bye wabmek

Wabmegok                     see (they)

Nwabmek                       he/she sees me

Nwabmegok                   they see me

Gwabmek                       he/she sees you

Gwabmegok                   they see you

Gwabmegwnan              he/she sees us

Gwabmegwnanek           they see us

Gwabmegomen              we are seen

Gwabmegwak                he/she sees you people             

Wabma                           to see someone (animate)

Gerald nwi o wabma            I’m going to go see Gerald.

Waboso wnago ngi wabma  I saw a rabbit yesterday

Ann ne ggi wabma                did you see Ann?

Weye ne na ggi bme wabma did you see anyone at all?

Wabmasi                         can’t see him/her (prefix jo)

Jo she na weye ngi wabmasi I didn’t see anybody

Jo ngi wabmasi                      I didn’t see him/her

Jo ne gwabmasi                     don’t you see him/her?

Jo nwabmasi                          I don’t/can’t see him/her

Sentences: (translate and fill in the blanks)

Jo ngi ______________ o kwe.

I didn’t see the woman.

Nwi  ____________ o nene.

I’m going to see the man.

Jo ne ggi  ______________ o negdosha?

You didn’t go see the horse.

Ggi o _____________ne o gdanses.

Did you go see your little daughter?

Ngi __________o ndanes.

I went to see my daughter.

Wabek ne gwi ______________o negdosha.

Are you going to see the horse tomorrow?

Gwi wabma ne o nemosh? ________________________________________________

I saw the dog yesterday. ____________________________________________________

I’m going to see the horse tomorrow.


I don’t see him.___________________________________________________________

Nmeshomes nwi o wabma.


Ggi o wabma ne__________________________________________________________

Did you go see your grandfather?

No, I didn’t go see my grandfather.


Wnago ___________ggi_______________o__________________________________?

Did you see your grandfather yesterday?

Jo ne John ggi wabmasi?_________________________________________________

Did you see John?______________________________________________________

Multiple choice:


            A. 2 people plus 1

            B. plural including

            C. singular excluding


            A. horse

            B. a man

            C. cup


            A. moody

            B. dirty butt

            C. bottle


            A. mail it

            B. an eastern city

            C. load it

Wabmak               to see more than one. (animate)

David and Terry nwi o wabmak

I’m going to go see David and Terry.

Ggi wabmak ne gi wabozoyek

Did you see those rabbits?

Nwi o wabmak gi dabyanek

I’m going to go look at those cars.

Gbye wabmak ne gi negdoshayek

Are you here to look at the horses?

Wabmasik             didn’t see them (prefix of Jo)

Jo ngi o wabmasik gi negdoshayek

I didn’t go look at the horses.

Jo ne gwi wabmasik gi dabyanek

You’re not going to go look at the cars?

Jo kwshe nwi wabmasik

No, I don’t want to see them.

Jo ngi de wabmasik gi negdoshayek

I didn’t get a chance to see the horses.


Nwi o ____________gi ___________________mkok.

I’m going to go see the three bears.

Jo ngi ____________________gi mkok.

I didn’t see the bears.

Wnago ngi ____________________ gi _______________

I went to see the cars yesterday.

Jo shna ngi ___________________  _______________________

I didn’t see any Indians.

Bodewadmik ______________Wjibwek____________________

I saw Potawatomies and Chippewas.

_________ngi ______________________ Bodewadmik

I didn’t see any Potawatomies.

Moshek she Neshnabek _____________ _____________

I saw mostly Indians.

Ngi kche ___________________ wabozoyek

I saw a lot of rabbits.

Bob mine Tom nwi o _________________

I’m going to go see Bob and Tom.

Shke ______________ nwi o _________________

I’m going to go see new cars.

I didn’t see the cars________________________________________________________

Jo ngi wabmasik gi nswe mkok______________________________________________

I saw two bears__________________________________________________________

I didn’t see the bears______________________________________________________

I looked at two cars_______________________________________________________

Multiple choice:


            A. stump

            B. turtle

            C. snake


            A. don’t

            B. frog

            C. log


            A. our home

            B. I am going

            C. your house


            A. leave

            B. fish

            C. lady


            A. go inside

            B. louse

            C. hen

Ewabdemok Edebwetmok

Ehe, ______________I____________

Yes, I see the spoon.

______________ne i ________________

Do you see the spoon?

_________________ne i _____________________

Do they see the lake?

Gwi o _______________ne i ________________

Are you going to go see the lake?

______ o ____________ne i _________________

We are going to go look at the road.

___________________ ni mkesnen

He sees the shoes.

___________________i azyan

I see the breech cloth.

____________________ne i _______________

Do you people see the lake?

Mbes ngi o _______________________

I went to see the lake.

Ggi o ___________________ne i ____________

Did you go see the lake?

Ngi o wabdamen i mbes. ___________________________________________________

Ni je pi ga ___________________ i mbes

When did you see the lake?

Ni je pi wa wabdemen i mbes _______________________________________________

Wnago ne ggi wabdan i mbes


__________________ i _________________

Quit looking at the water.


Quit looking at her!

______________________ne ni wmeksenen?

Does he see his shoes?


When are you going to see it?

E’he_______________ni jimanen.

Yes, we see the _________________.

Ewabdemok Edebwetmok

Nwabma                                 I see him/her

Nwabmak                              I see them-those-etc.

Gwabma                                you see him/her

Gwabmak                              you see them-those-etc.

Wabman                                he/she sees her/him/them

Nwabmasi                              I don’t see her/him

                                                needs prefix cho in front of it

Nwabmasik                            I don’t see them

Gwabmasi                              you don’t see him/her

                                                needs cho in front of it

Gwabmasik                            you don’t see them-those-etc.

Wabmasin                              he/she doesn’t see him/her or them

E’he, nwabma                                   yes, I see her/him

Nwabma o wabozo                I see the rabbit

E’he, nwabmak                     yes, I see them

Nwabmak gi wabozoyek      I see the rabbits

Gwabma ne o dabyan                       do you see the car?

Gwabmak ne gi dabyanek   do you see the cars?

Wabman ne i dabyan                       does he see the car?

Wabman ne ni dabyanen     does he see the cars?

Nwabma o____________________.

I see that Indian.

Cho________________o dabyan.

I don’t see the car.

Gwabma ne o negdosha?_____________________________________________

Cho nwabmasi o negdosha.


Nan godgen shna___________________.

I see them once in awhile.

Gwabmak _________________?

Do you see them?     

Gwabma ne?



I don’t see them.

____________________ne ni dabyanen?

Does he see the cars?


He doesn’t see it.


I can’t see them.

Gwabmak ne gi dabyanek?_______________________________________________?

Bama nge_____________________________.

I’ll see them later.

Weye ne gi bye___________________ni dabyanen?

Did someone come to see the cars?

Cho ngi________________________.

I didn’t see her.


Gwabdan ne i gwabegas?________________________________________________?

Ggi_____________ne i_________________?

Did you see the dish?

Nwi o_____________o________________>

I’m going to go see the horse.

Ggi ____________________ne o mshkekiwnene?

Did you see the doctor?

Ni je pi wa _________________i mbes?

When are you going to see the lake?

Ngi o _____________o nos.

I went to see my father.

Ggi ________________ne o dbek gises?

Did you see the _______________________?

Bya wabdan ode gwabegas.___________________________________________.

Ngi wabma o gises. _________________________________________________.

Ngi o _________________________i mbes.

We went to see the lake.

Ggi ______________________ne ngoji i _______________?

Did you see the breech cloth anywhere?

Ggi _____________________ne ngoji ni emkwanen?

Did you see the _________________anywhere?

Wde o _________________ni mkeznen.

He went to look at the shoes.

Nwi o _______________i mbes.

We are going to look at the lake.

Nwi o wabma o negdosha. _____________________________________________.

Gwi o wabma ne o mshkekiwnene?


Cho ngi ________________________o dabyan. ________________________________________.

______________________ne i jiman?

Do you see the canoe?

____________________o negdosha.

Quit looking at the horse.

E’he _________________________ni jimanen.



Wabden                                              see it (singular)

Wabden ode                                       see this–look at this

                                                            used only in the present tense

Wabdemok                                        plural

Wabdemok ode                                 you people look at this

Wabdan                                             someone sees it

Nwi wabdan i mbes                           I’m going to go see the lake

Wgi o wabdan i mbes                        he/she went to go look at the lake

Wabdanen                                         he/she sees something  (plural)

Nwi o wabdanen ni myewesen         I’m going to go look at the trails.

Wabdanawa                                      they see it

Wabdanawa i mbes                           they see the lake

Wabdanawa ni mbesen                    they see the lakes

Nwabdan                                           I see it

Nwabdanen                                       I see them

Gwabdan                                           you see it

Gwabdanen                                       you see them

Wabdan                                             he/she sees it

Wabdanen                                         he/she sees them

Nwabdamen                                      we see it   (excl.)

Gwabdamen                                      we see it   (incl.)

Wabden                                              see it     (inanimate)

Wabdan                                             he/she sees  (n or g) nwabdan or gwabdan

Wabdanawa                                      they see it    (inanimate)

Wabdamen                                        we see it      (inanimate)   excl.

Nwabdan                                           I see     (inanimate)

Gwabdan                                           you see     (inanimate)

Wabdan                                             he/she sees    (inanimate)

Wabem                                               see him/her    (animate) (sing.) to see someone

Wabma                                               see him/her     (animate)   (n or g) nwabma or                                                                   gwabma

Wabmawan                                       they see    (animate)  wabmawan ni negdosha

Wabmamen                                       we see   (animate)  ginan gwi o wabmamen

                                                                                           ginan ggi o wabmamen

Nwabma                                             I see   (animate)

Gwabma                                            you see (animate) gwabma ne o negdosha

Wabman                                            he/she sees   (animate) wabman ni negdoshanan

                                                            3rd person singular


Ndowabma                                        look for someone   (animate)

I’m going to look for my car                        nwi ndowabma o ndodabyan

I’m going go look for John               John nwi o ndowabma

I’m going to go look for a car                      dabyan nwi o ndowabma

Ndowabmak                                      look for someone    (plural animate)

I’m going to go look for the cars     dabyanek nwi o ndowabmak

I’m looking for Indians                    neshnabek mbeba ndowabmak


Nmechkawen nwi ndowabma. __________________________________________.

Nmechkawnek nwi___________________. ___________________________________.

I’m going to look for a car.                          Dabyan nwi_______________________________.

I looked for a car yesterday.

Wnago _________________ngi ___________________________.

I’m going to look for beans.                         Kojesek nwi ______________________________.

I’m going to go look for gloves.

Mjekawnek nwi o _______________________________.

Did you look for your car?               Ggi _________________ne o ____________________?

I’m going to look for a car.              _______________nwi_____________________.

I’m going to go look for dad.                       Dede nwi o _____________________________.

Look for your dad.                            __________________o gdedeyem.


Nedwabdan                                       I look for it – or object

Nedwabdanen                                               I look for  (plual)

Gnedwabdan                                     you look for it – or object

Gnedwabdanen                                 you look for (plural)

Wnedwabdan                                    he/she looks for it – or object

Wnedwabdanen                                he/she looks for it   (plural)

Nedwabdan i mzenegen                    I’m looking for that paper or letter

Nedwabdanen ni mzenegnen                       I’m looking for those papers or letters

Gnedwabdan ne i zaskokwan                      are you looking for the frying pan?

Gnedwabdanen ne ni zaskokwanen            are you looking for the frying pans?

Wnedwabdan i wmeksen                 he/she is looking for her/his shoe

Wnedwabdanen ni wmeksenen       he/she is looking for his/her shoes

She is looking for the door               ______________i shkwadem

I’m looking for the spoon                 __________i _____________.                      

Are you looking for your shoe?       ___________ne i gmeksen?

I’m looking for the spoons               ______________ni emkwanen.

Are you looking for the blanket?    _____________ne i waboyan?

She is looking for the blankets.        ________________ne waboyanen.

Are you looking for the blankets?   Waboyanen ne _____________________?

Are you looking for something?      Gego ne _________________________?

I’m looking for something.               Gego ___________________________.

I’m looking for a letter and I’m also looking for my shoes.

Mzenegen ________________mine she nmeksenen ______________________.


Nwabdan                                           I see it

Nwabdanen                                       I see them    (inanimate)

Nwabdamen                                      we see it   (them)

Gwabdan                                           see it  (you)

Gwabdanawa                                    see it  (you people)

Wabden                                              see, look at it   (you)

Wabdemok                                        look at it   (you folks)

Wabdan                                             *someone sees it

Wabdamen                                        we see it

Wabdanawa                                      they see it

Wabdesin                                           I didn’t see it

                                                            needs cho and tense marker in front of it

Wabdesimen                                      we didn’t see it

“                                                                                  “

Wabdesinawa                                    they didn’t see it

“                                                                                     “

*used in the following ways

Bama wabek nge o wabdan—-wait until tomorrow I’ll go see it

Wabek gda bye wabdan—-you can come and see it tomorrow

Wnago wgi bye wabdan—-he/she came to look at it yesterday


Cho gwabmasi                                   you don’t see him/her

Cho ne gwabmasi                              don’t you see him/her?

Cho gwabmasik                                 you don’t see them

Cho ne gwabmasik                            don’t you see them?

The following indicates the third person form—-in the third person form,

all animate nouns revert to inanimate usage.

Wabmasin:  in the following examples, the inanimate form is underlined.

Cho wabmasin ni dabyan(en)                      he/she doesn’t see the car(s)

Cho wabmasin ni neshnaben(en)     he/she doesn’t see the Indian (s)

Also notice that the inanimate form of an animate noun is either plural or singular:

For comparison, the first and second forms appear below:

1st person form: cho nwabmasi o dabyan—-I don’t see the car

2nd person form: cho ne gwabmasi o dabyan?—-don’t you see the car?

Wabmasimen: the parties to this word are determined by the tense markers and the singular and plural prefixes.

Cho ngi wabmasimen o dabyan                  we didn’t see the car

Cho ngi wabmasimen gi dabyanek             we didn’t see the cars

Cho ne gwi wabmasimen o dabyan             aren’t we going to look at the car?


Wabmek o neshnabe                                     see (look at) that Indian

Wabmek gi neshnabek                                 see (look at) those Indians

Ngi bye wabmek o mshkekiwnene              the doctor came to see me

Ggi wabmek ne o mshkekiwnene                did the doctor see you?

Wnago ngi bye wabmek o ndanes               my daughter came to see me yesterday.

Gwabmegwak: the singular and plural prefixes determine how many people see you.           

Ngwabmegwak                                              I/we see you people

Wgwabmegwak                                             they see you people

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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