Verbs & Modifiers – a quick look

Verbs in the dictionary will end with "-etv." This is their general or infinitive form that merely means to do whatever the verb is, that is, "to (verb)." The infinitive (dictionary form) is always simply stated as a neutral "to _______." Verbs denote actions or states of being. Changes to a verb are necessary to indicate who is doing the action and to whom or what is done and sometimes, how it is accomplished. This is just like English--go, goes, gone, went, have, had, has, etc.


"to see"


"to hear"


"to be"


"to run" (one person or thing only)


"to sit, to be" (one only)


"to say, tell"


"to stand" "to exist" (one only)


"to know, learn"


"to sing"


"to eat" (general term)

Drop the "-etv" from the verb and the stem/root will be left.

hec- see

huer – stand

poh- hear

yvhik – sing

lik- sit

homp eat, general term

lētk- run

pap eat, use for specific named food

mak- say

kerr know, learn


The "—ing" form of a Creek verb is as follows:

hecet – seeing

pohet – hearing

liket – sitting

lētket – running

maket – saying

hueret – standing


All modifiers used as adjectives go after the noun they modify. Modifiers retain the long "--ē" ending if they are connected to the noun by a form of the verb "to be" and are equal to the noun such as in the sentence, "The dog is white." White, hvtkē in Creek, retains the "--ē." However, in "The white dog runs fast," white merely describes a characteristic of the dog that is also fast and running. Hvtkē would take an "--a" ending and become "hvtkat" as in "Efv hvtkat pvfnēn lētkes." Although this may seem a strange practice at first, it insures clarity of meaning in Creek. It quickly becomes habit.

efv hvtkē

white dog

efv hvtkē yekcē

strong white dog

Cepvnē mahē

tall boy

aha catē

red potato

sutv holattē 

blue sky

cetto pvfnē 

fast snake

Modifiers used after nouns take the appropriate subject or object marker.


The dog... (subject of a sentence)

Efv hvtkēt...

The white dog... (subject of a sentence)

Efv hvtkē yekcēt...

The strong white dog... (subject of a sentence)

efv hvtkē yekcēn...

…the strong white dog... (object of a sentence)

aha catēn...

…the red potato... (object of a sentence)

Essē lanē 

green leaf, green leaves


Because verbs are last in Creek sentences, modifiers used as adverbs must come before verbs they modify.
As adverbs, these modifiers also take an "-n" ending. Remember: verbs are last…!

Yekcēn yvhikes

sings loudly, strongly

Pvfnēn lētkes

runs quickly (fast, swiftly)

hērēn heces

sees well, views carefully, takes a fine look at

hērēn hecvs!

look well! (command or imperative form "-vs") one only