Mode

The mode of a Navajo verb conveys information about the timing of an action or condition. There are seven modes: Imperfective, Perfective, Future, Iterative, Usitative, Optative, and Progressive. This website provides descriptions of each mode and provides example sentences that illustrate the modes. Certain adverbial expressions are compatible with only some of the modes. Examples of these are included also.

Here is one example with a verb in the optative mode:

’Oółháásh lágo.

2-sleep.O don’t
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Don’t go to sleep.

Each sentence is displayed with the Navajo text on the first line, an English translation on the third, and a gloss of words and word parts on the second. The verb stem is in italics and indicates the mode. There is also a red button which, when clicked, will allow you to hear a recording of a speaker saying the sentence. For more information on the gloss of words and word parts visit this link. For this project we draw on previous work by Fernald & Perkins (manuscript), Young & Morgan (1987), Young, Morgan & Midgette (1992), and others cited in References [link].

In the box below you can search for sentences by verb, mode, or adverb.

An example search has returned 50 entries

’Ahbínídą́ą́’ hashbį’go baa nídiisdzá ’ákondi t’áadoo ’áłtso da.

morning-past 1-clear.I-GO 3-for 1-start.P however but not-yet all NEG

’Ahbínídą́ą́’ t’áadoo ’ííyą́ą́’góó biniinaa wónáásdóó dichin shi’niiłhį́.

morning-past NEG 1-eat.P-NEG.GO because soon hunger 1-3-kill.P

’Ak’ah kǫ’ dishtłi’go sédá.

candle 3-1-cause.burn.NI-GO 1-sit.SPN
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I’m burning the candle sitting here.

’Ashkii chizh dáádílkał yiníkáiyiníłhan.

boy firewood door 3-through-3-3-throw.P
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The boy threw the firewood through the door.

’Ałk’idídą́ą́’ kin ’áshłaa ńt’éé’ ’éí t’ahdii bii’ shighan.

quite.long.ago house 3-1-make.P past it still 3-in 1-home

’át’ahígo

’Áłchíní hastą́ą́ binááhaidóó deigo hodees’áago t’áá ’ałtso da’ółta’go yá’át’ééh.

children six 3-year.P-from up areal-extend.NP all pl-3-study.NI-GO 3-good.N

-áátis

over, up and over, over the top

-ch’į’

-dę́ę́’

-k’ee

-lááh

-ts’ą́ą́’, -ts’á

Át’ah ’inda shaa náádíídááł.

later 1-to again-2-come.F

Ch’ééh jiyáán náánááshdą́ą́’.

watermelon again-1-eat.R
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I ate watermelon again.

Chidí daats’í bee hólǫ́ ’éí doodaii’ niísh chidí nee hólǫ́?

car maybe 3-with 4-exist.N TOP or 2-Q car 2-with 4-exist.NI

Chidí sits’ą́ą́’ hashtł’ish yiih yilwodgo t’áá ch’į́į́góó ch’ééh ’ííł’įįd.

car 1-from mud 3-into 3-go.P-GO failure in.vain 1-act.P

Diné bikéyah bikáa’gi łáhágóó ninádahałtį́įh łeh.

Navajo 3-land 3-on-at a.few.places areal-rain.I usually

Díí chąą’ shą’ háádę́ę́’ niníyęęzh?

this manure-Q where-from 3-ooze.P

Díí chizh shá ’ałk’íniishóósh.

this firewood 1-for 3-2-split.I
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Split these pieces of wood for me.

doo deighánígóó

doo ndi

doo t’áá k’ad --- da

Dooládó’ shį́į́ ’adą́ą́dą́ą́’ shich’ohoos’ni’ da kintah góyaa yishááł ńt’éé’ béeso naadiinígíí ńdiiłtsooz.

wow probably yesterday 1-lucky.P town areal down 1-go.I Past money twenty-NOM 3-sit.FFO.P
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Boy oh boy, I was in luck yesterday --- I was walking down the street and found a twenty dollar bill.

dó’

Díidí háísh bichidí?

this who-Q 3-car

Ha’a’aahdę́ę́sh naaghan ’éí doodago e’e’aahdę́ę́sh naaghan?

east-from-Q 2-home TOP or west-from-Q 2 home

Ha’át’éegoshą’ t’áadoo ’azee’ál’į́į́góó nisíníyáa da?

why-Q NEG hospital-to 2-go.sg.P NEG

Ha’ąądi dibé bighan.

areal-other.side sheep 3-corral
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The sheep corral is on the other side (of the hill).

haa néelt’e’

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how much, how many, what quantity. [count]

há’at’é-go

Háágóó lá díníyá?

where-to.Q 2-go.F

Hooghan binááshwoł ńt’éé shimá sání shich’ahóóshkeed.

hogan 3-encircling-1-run.Prog past 1-grandmother 1-3-scold.P
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I was running around the hooghan when my grandmother got after me.

Hoozdohdi ’éí doo ’ashohodoobéézhgóó deesdoi.

Phoenix-at TOP extremely 3-hot.SPN

Joołísh ’atiin tsé’naa ’ahííníłhan doodaii’ daats’í ’anít’i’ báhátis ’ahííníłhan?

ball-Q road across 3-2-throw.P or perhjaps fence 3-over 3-2-throw.P

K’aa’ísh ’aní’á biyaa doodago daats’í báhátis ’ayiist’oh?

arrow-Q bridge 3-under or perhaps 3-over 3-3-shot.P

Naadą́ą́’ lá haa néelą́ą́’ nida’ak’eh biyi’ góne’?

corn Q how 3.much.N 2-cornfield 3-in there

Naalyéhé bá hooghandi tł’oh hániikai ńt’éé’ ’áníídí yee’ ’ásdįįd lágo ’áadi niikai.

trading.post-at hay 1dpl-go.pl.P past recently very 3-disappear.P DISC-GO there 1dpl-go.pl.P

Nádí daats’í ’éí doodaii’ nideezhí daats’í bááh ’íidoolííł?

older.sister perhaps or younger.sister perhaps bread 3-make.F
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Is your older sister or your younger sister going to make bread? / Maybe your older sister or your younger sister is going to make bread.

Nizhé’ésh ha’át’íí nayiisnii’?

2-father-Q what 3-3-buy.P
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As for your father, what did he buy?

Shicheii t’áá sáhí ’átsą́ą́’ ’ałtso yoolghal --- doochǫǫł ’át’éego ’ajilghał dooleeł!

1-grandpa just himself rib whole 3-chew.P ridiculous 3-be.NI-GO SER-3-ate.DI Future
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My grandfather ate the whole rib section by himself --- it’s absurd to eat like that!

Shikéédę́ę́’ naa hodoolzhish.

1-behind-from 2-passing become.F

Shizhé’é ńléí dá’ák’ehdi naayiishgo yish’į́.

1-father there cornfield-at 3-stoop.Prg-GO 3-1-see.Prg
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I can see my father moving about there in the field.

Shizhé’éésh łį́į́’ yiyííshǫǫdę́ę ’ayóó ’eelwod?

1-father horse-Q 3-3-tame.P-COMP.past really 3-run.away.P

Shoo sitsóí, da’ Na’nízhoozhigóó nił ’adeeswod?

hey 1-grandson Q Gallup-to 2-with 2-go.F
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Hey grandson, are you driving to Gallup?

t’ah ńt’éé’

T’ahdiísh nahałtin?

still-Q area-rain.CI
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Is it still raining?

Tł’óodiísh t’ah ’áłchíní nidaané?

outside-Q still children pl-3-play.I

yiit’aal

3DO-1dpl-chew.it.P

chew it, 1st person dual

Łééchąą’í ’ałch’į’ yiil’aad.

dog RECIP-toward 3-1du-sic.P
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We sicced the dogs on each other.