Verb Conjugation
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Simple Questions 1
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Simple Questions 2
Video Lecture

Language Lesson - Word Order and Negative Word Order

Word Order       Negative Word Order       Cho Variations       Vocabulary       Quiz

Negative Word Order

Word Order is an important concept to understand, but it is also important to understand how negatives work with the language. Negative Word Order refers to how you would use a negative statement in Potawatomi. For instance instead of saying that you "are going to a movie", you might want to say that you "are not going to a movie". The "are not" is a negative verb.

Here are some more example... "I am not happy", "He is not leaving", "you aren't looking bad". English has a simple method: every sentence has one word that is used to negate the Verb and this word usually precedes the Verb. In the examples we use the word "not" but you can also say "I am never going", or "She is going nowhere".

Making Potawatomi Verbs Negative Potawatomi deals with Negatives and Negative Word Order in a different way. Instead of one word that negates a verb, there are usually two words/word parts that do the trick.

1. Cho (also written as "Ttho") - Use the word "ttho" before the verb. Saying "cho" is like saying "no". It is a negative word.

2. Si - Use the word part "si" at or near the end of your verb to make it negative.

nmaji - i am leaving
cho nmajisi - i'm not leaving

odanek nda-zhya - I should go to town
odanek cho nda-zhyasi - I should not go to town
In this example odanek (to town) is the locative form of odanke (town). The da (should) refers to the future conditional.

Si - where does it go?
We have learned so far that the si goes at the end of a verb to make it negative. There are a few instances where the si isn't on the end of the word, but it is near the end.

When you are putting a suffix on a verb, the si goes between the verb root and the suffix.

nmaji - I am leaving
cho nmajisi - I'm not leaving

gmaji - you are leaving
cho gmajisi - you are not leaving

maji - he/she is leaving
cho majisi - he/she is not leaving

nmajimen - we (-u) are leaving
cho nmajisimen - we (-u) are not leaving

gmajimen - we all are leaving
cho gmajisimen - we all are not leaving

gmajim - you all are leaving
cho gmajisim - you all are not leaving

majik - they are leaving
cho majisik - they are not leaving

There are other verbs that the si goes near the end, not at the end. One example is "ton" - "he/she has something inanimate".

shonya nde-ton - I have money
cho shonya nde-tosin - I don't have money

shonya gde-ton - you have money
cho shonya gde-tosin - you don't have money

shonya ton - he/she has money
cho shonya wde-tosin - he/she doesn't have money

shonya nde-tomen - we (-u) have money
cho shonya nde-tosimen - we (-u) don't have money

shonya gde-tomen - we all have money
cho shonya gde-tosimen - we all don't have money

shonya gde-tom - you all have money
cho shonya gde-tosim - you all don't have money

shonya tonawa - they have money
cho shonya tosinawa - they don't have money