Verbs

Lets take a closer look at verbs!!

It is impossible to talk about food without talking about a few verbs too! Verbs are action words like eat, wash, cut and pour. In English, verbs and the person doing the action are independent but in Michif the doer of the action is indicated by a prefix and or a suffix. Prefixes are attached to the beginning of a word, for example: rewrite, undo, exwife. Suffixes are attached the ending of words, for example: quickly, smartest, taller. In Michif different prefixes and suffixes are used to show who is doing the action. Lets take a look at an example below and listen to the difference in pronunciation.

Present Tense

to make (dinner)


I am making dinner
li dinner d-osht-aan

He/she is making dinner
li dinner osht-ow

We are making dinner
li dinner d-osht-anaan

They are making dinner
li dinner osht-awuk

You are making dinner (sing)
li dinner d-osht-aan



In Michif there are sometimes slight differences with these prefixes but in general this is the pattern. Once you get used to using these prefixes and suffixes the system becomes quite easy to follow.

Past and Future

Not only are prefixes used to talk about who is doing the action they are used to show Past Tense and Future Tense as well. In English we have many ways to talk about an event that took place in the past, for example:

I made dinner.
She has made dinner.

In Michif it is simple to express past time. We believe that all we need to do is add kee-/gee to the beginning of the verb and it indicates the past tense. Lets look at an example of this. Listen to the example below and notice the pattern.

Past Tense

To Make(dinner)


I made dinner
li dinner kee-osht-aan

He/she made dinner
li dinner kee osht-ow

They made dinner
li dinner kee-osht-awuk

We made dinner
li dinner kee-onsht-anaan

You made dinner (plur)
li dinner kee-oshtanawow

You made dinner (sing)
li dinner kee-oshtaan


To express future tense we believe is very similar to the past tense. However when expressing the future tense the prefix added to the beginning of the word is kaa-/gaa. Look again at the example below and listen for the differences.

Future Tense

To Make (dinner)


I will make dinner
li dinner ga-oshtaan

He/she will make dinner
li dinner ka-oshitow

They will make dinner
li dinner ka-oshtaowuk

We will make dinner
li dinner ga-oshtanaan

You will make dinner (plural)
li dinner ga-oshtanawow

You will make dinner (sing)
li dinner ka=oshtaan

For more information and examples of verbs check out the verb center!!

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