Counting People

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1. The suffix -elu

Except for the words for one and two people, which are are formed by reduplication, count people by adding the suffix -elu to the number.

na’nuts’a’ ‘one person’
yey’sul’u ‘two people’
lhhwelu ‘three people’
xuthiinu ‘four people’
lhq’utsse’lu ‘five people’
t’xumulu ‘six people’
tth’ukwse’lu, tth’a’kwselu ‘seven people’
te’tsselu ‘eight people’
toohwelu ‘nine people’
’upeenu ‘ten people’
’upeenu ’i’ kw’ na’nuts’a’ ‘eleven people’
’upeenu ’i’ kw’ yey’sul’u ‘twelve people’
’upeenu ’i’ kw’ lhq’utsse’lu ‘fifteen people’
tskw’shelu ‘twenty people’
kw’iinu ‘how many people?’
qxe’luts ‘a lot of people’
kw’ukw’une’lu ‘a few people’
1.1 Examples
Q kw’iinu slhunlheni’ kwthu ni’ t’ilum? ‘How many women sang?’
A t’xumulu slhunlheni’ kwthu ni’ t’ilum. ‘Six women sang.’
Q kw’iinu kwthun’ me’mun’u? ‘How many children do you have?’
A te’tsselu kwthunu me’mun’u. ‘I’ve got eight children.’
Q kw’iinu kwthu ’i ’un’ ‘imushne’tunulup ’u kw’un’a snet? ‘How many visitors did you have last night?
A xuthiinu. ‘Four (people).’
xuthiinu kwthu ’i ’imushne’tuntst. ‘We had four visitors.’
Q ’ii qxe’luts kwthu ’i sq’uq’ip’ ’u kw’un’a hwune’unt? ‘Were there a lot of people at the meeting here last evening?’
A ’uwu, ’i ‘uw’ kw’ukw’une’lu ’ul’. ‘No, just a few people.’

2. ’upeenu hwuhwilmuhw Song

na’nuts’a’, yey’sul’u, lhhwelu hwuhwilmuhw

One person, two people, three First Nations people

xuthiinu, lhq’utsse’lu, t’xumulu yu’i’mush

four people, five people, six people walking

tth’ukwse’lu, te’tsselu, toohwelu yuxwan’chunum’

seven people, eight people, nine people running

’upeenu nuw’ilum ’u tthu skoulew’t-hw.

ten people going into the school.

3. Homework

Write out the seven answers for each question.

Question Answers
(1) kw’iinu kwthun’ ‘um’imuth? 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, a lot
(2) kw’iinu stl’ul’iqulh ni’ huw’a’lum’? a few, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11