Verb Type 3 – “An” First Endings

As you know, the way to begin speaking Anishinaabemowin is to describe what is happening. There are only four types of increasingly complicated verbs and some simple rules about which one to use and when. Before any sentence can be understood, a speaker or listener would ask themselves, “What is happening and who or what is involved?” The answer to those questions will determine which verb is used. So far you have learned Type 1 and Type 2 verbs. Let’s review what all four verb types are all about.

Verb Type 1 verbs are used when something is just happening with no one involved.

For example, Gimiwan = It is raining.

Verb Type 2 verbs make clear who is causing the action or doing something. One of the seven pronouns does something without anyone else or any objects involved.

For example, niwiisin = I am eating

Type 3 and 4 verbs both contain objects. When there is an object of the action you need to pause and ask:

Is the object in the o’o/maanda (inanimate) category of nouns?


Is the object in the wa’aw/maaba (animate) category of nouns?

Remember, you can often determine the category of the noun by finding out how it becomes plural. Most inanimate nouns become plural by adding “-an.” Most animate nouns become plural by adding “-ag.” Use the Ojibwe People’s Dictionary for guidance.

Let’s learn the difference between Type 3 verbs and Type 4 verbs:

Type 3 verbs are used when action is happening to an o’o/maanda (inanimate) noun. Only one of the seven pronouns is doing something with the direct inanimate object(s).

Verb Type 3 An Ending-0
For example, Niminikwaadaan doodooshaaboo = I am drinking the milk. Nimiijin biitoonigan = I am eating a sandwich.

Type 4 verbs are used when action is happening to a wa’aw/maaba (animate) noun. One of the seven pronouns is doing something with the direct animate object. This means there are actually two pronouns involved.

For example, Giwaabamin = I see you. Nindamawaa mishiimin = I am eating an apple.

You will learn more about Type 4 Verbs in later lessons. In this lesson we will focus on Verb Type 3.

Verb Type 3 has two basic forms: 1) “an” endings and 2) “oon” or “in” endings. In this lesson we will focus on verbs ending with “an.”

Verbs ending with “an”

Verb Type 3 An Ending-2

minikwaadan (w) / minikwen (e) – to drink something
waabandan – to see something
ozhibii’an – to write something
nandodan – to ask for something
ayan – to have something
jiibaakwaadan – to cook something
gibaakwa’an – to shut / close something
giizikan – to take off an “o’o / maanda” item
biizikan – to put on an “o’o / maanda” item
minwendan – to like something
misawendan – to desire something
nandawendan – to want something
gikendan – to know something
nanda-gikendan – to seek to know / learn something
nisidotan – to understand something (heard)
nisidawendan – to understand something (mentally)
bizindan – to listen to something
nanaa’inan – to put in order / organize something
biina’an – to put something inside a certain place
noondan – to hear something

Inanimate Nouns (ni)

Verb Type 3 An Ending-3

waawan(oon) – egg
biitoonigan(an) – sandwich
ode’imin(an) – strawberry
wiiyaas(an) – meat
doodooshaaboo – milk
makizin(an) – shoe
biboonimakazin(an) – winter boot
babagiwayaan(an) – shirt
giizhoobabagiwayaan(an) – sweater
babiinzikawaagan(an) – coat
giboodiyegwaazon(an) – pair of pants
nagamowin(an) – song
dibaajimowin(an) – story
mazinaabikiwebinigan(an) – computer
giigidoo-biiwaabikoons(an) – telephone
mazinaatesijigan(an) – television
inaakonigewin(an) – treaty, law, rule

To make a noun plural, add the plural ending that is in parentheses. For example, a singular egg is “waawan” but plural eggs are “waawanoon.”

Find more inanimate nouns on Ojibwe People’s Dictionary

The following chart can be used to learn the conjugations for verbs with “an” endings. Pay close attention to when the verb matches the plural noun (in all forms except niinawind and giinawind). This means that you make the verb plural when there is a plural noun.

For example:

Verb Type 3 An Ending-4

Nijiibaakwaadaan bezhig waawan. – I cook one egg.
Nijiibaakwaadaanan niizh waawanoon – I cook two eggs.

Pronoun In Ojibwe Pronoun In English Single Statement
*remove the “an” and conjugate
* add (an) for plural sometimes
niin I ni + verb + aan (an)
nin (initial d,j,g,z,zh)
nim (initial b)
nind (initial vowel)
giin you gi + verb + aan (an)
gid (initial vowel)
gim (initial b)
wiin he / she o + verb + aan(an)
niinawind just us ni + verb + aamin
nin (initial d,j,g,z,zh)
nim (initial b)
nind (initial vowel)
giinawind all of us gi + verb + aamin
gid (initial vowel)
gim (initial b)
giinawaa you all gi + verb + aanaawaa (n)
gid (initial vowel)
gim (initial b)
wiinawaa them o + verb + aanaawaa (n)

Take a look at the following examples. Try to identify:

  • 5 root verbs
  • The pronoun prefixes and suffixes on each verb
  • 3 plural nouns
  • An example of past and future tense

Verb Type 3 An Ending-5

  1. Niwii-minikwaadaan doodooshaaboo. I will drink milk.
  2. Mazinaabikiwebiniganan ina giwaabandaanan? Do you see the computers?
  3. Nathon onoondaan giigidoo-biiwaabikoons. Nathon hears the phone.
  4. Ginisidotaamin inaakonigewinan. We understand the treaties.
  5. Dibaajimowinan ina gigii-nisidotaanaawaan? Did yous understand the stories?

Aanikanootan (Translate It)

Practice Translating the Following Sentences!

Verb Type 3 An Ending-6

1. Just us listen to the stories.

Root Verb: bizindan
Note: The noun has a plural ending, but the verb does not.

2. They asked for egg sandwiches.

Root Verb: nandodan
Note: Both the noun and verb have plural endings.

3. All of us see the computer.

Root Verb: waabandan
Note: Both the noun and verb are singular.

4. You put on pants.

Root Verb: biizikan
Note: Both the noun and verb are singular.

5. You all ask for strawberries.

Root Verb: nandodan
Note: Both the noun and verb have plural endings.

Bizindan (Listen to It)

Listen to and read the following conversation. Do you recognize any vocabulary or word parts?

Verb Type 3 An Ending-7

A. Hello friend!
B. Hi!
A. Do you have anything I could eat?
B. I just have a piece of candy.
A. Oh, what kind?
B. They call it Crunch.
A. I don’t like how it crunches when I try to chew it.
B. Alright then. I also have a piece of old fuzzy cheese in my pocket.
A. Wow! I might want that instead!

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