Cree Verb Inflection

ᓂᑖᐱᑎᓰᓐ   nitaapitisiin I work, I am working
ᒋᒌᐦ ᐋᐱᑎᓰᐦᑖᑯᐱᓐ   chichiih aapitisiihtaakupin You must have worked
ᐋᐱᑎᓰᔮᓈ   aapitisiiyaanaa When and if I work
ᐋᐱᑎᓰᑖᐤ   aapitisiitaau Let’s work!

These examples are only a few of the many many forms a Cree verb can take. There are hundreds of verb endings (suffixes) in Cree, encoding a large amount of information about who does what to whom, when and how while there are only a few of these in English: talk/ talks/ talked/ talking; take/ takes/taken/ taking (-s, -ed, -en, -ing). These are called verb inflections.

A verb can vary according to which person is involved, and when and how things are happening. The variation in person is called person inflection, and the variation about when and how is grouped in a set of forms called a conjugation or a paradigm.

Conjugations are grouped into orders. There are three orders: Independent, Conjunct, Imperative. For convenience, conjugations used across the Cree-Innu language family have each been given a number.

The stem of a verb determines the shape of a conjugation. The suffixes or endings will not look the same on all verbs.