The word above comes in two forms: ᐊᐧᐋᔑᔥ awaashish and ᐊᐧᐋᔑᔑᒡ awaashishich. The second form is made up of the first form plus an ending: awaashish + ich.
The form ᐊᐧᐋᔑᔥ awaashish is called the stem of the noun. When the form ᐊᐧᐋᔑᔥ awaashish is used without any ending, it is called SINGULAR. It means that there is just one. When the second form ᐊᐧᐋᔑᔑᒡ awaashishich is used, with the ending -ich , it is called PLURAL, and it means that there is more than one. This appears clearly when you use ‘one’, ‘two’ or ‘three’ with the noun:
|ᐹᔨᒄ ᐊᐧᐋᔑᔥ||paayikw awaashish||one child||(singular)|
|ᓃᔓ ᐊᐧᐋᔑᔑᒡ||niishu awaashishich||two children||(plural)|
|ᓂᔥᑐ ᐊᐧᐋᔑᔑᒡ||nishtu awaashishich||three children||(plural)|
This distinction between one and more than one is called NUMBER. Some nouns take another ending for their plural.
|ᒥᔅᒋᓐ||mischin||a shoe||ᐊᔥᑐᑎᓐ||ashtutin||a hat|
Nouns like ᐊᐧᐋᔑᔥ awaashish are called ANIMATE Nouns and like ᒥᔅᒋᓐ mischin are called INANIMATE Nouns (see Gender).