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

’adah

’ayóí

’Azhą́ hasistih ndi t’ah honishyóí.

even.though 1-be.old-P even.though still 1-be.energetic.NI

’ałdó’

’áádóó

CONJ

-dę́ę́’

-ii’, yi’

-jí + -k’ehgo

-k’ee

-ne’

Awéé’ doo ndó’ yidlóoh da.

baby NEG NDO’ 3-cold.I NEG
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The baby isn’t even cold.

Ch’į́į́góó baa ntséskees.

fail 3-about 1-think.I
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I think about it (from many angles) without success (as in trying to hit upon a practical solution for a problem).

Ch’óóshdą́ą́dą́ą́’ shichidí naaki. K’ad ’éí t’ááłá’í.

formerly 1-car two now it one
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I used to have two cars. Now I have only one.

Chidí kǫ́ǫ́ ndaajeehígíí t’áá ’ániidígo dahodeezlįįd.

car here 3-run.pl.I-COMP just recently pl-3-become.P
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These cars that run around here just recently came into existence, cars are a recent invention.

dayííłhį́į́’

pl-3DO-3dpl-melt.it.(snow).P

Dichin nínízin ya’?

hungry 2-want.NI Q

diilbish

3DO-1dpl-boil.it.F

Díí haa yit’éego ’atiin?

this how 3-be.NI road
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How is this road?

dínółkaad

3DO-2dpl-start.to.herd.them.(animals).I

Ha’a’aahjíísh ’éí doodago ’e’e’aahjíísh nighan?

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

haa níłtso

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how big is it

haa yídéetą́ą́’

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how deep is it

haidínóołchał

3DO-3-card.it.(as.in.wool).F

há’at’é-P.ENCLITIC

where. The expressions formed with ’há’at’é-’ either appear with a postpositional enclitic (also with the subordinating complementizer ’-go’, which we listed separately)

Háágóósh díníyá?

where-to-Q 2-go.I

Háidíígíí lá neidiyoołnih?

which.one-ÍGÍÍ Q 3-3-buy.F
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Which one is s/he going to buy?

Háísh tsinaa’eeł ’áyiilaa?

who-Q boat 3-3-make.P

Háíshą’ tsinaa’eeł ’áyiilaa?

who-Q boat 3-3-make.P

Hoozdo hoolyéedi deesdoi sha’shin. ’Áyaańda (’áyąą) diné bi’éétsoh t’áá gééd ndaakai.

Phoenix areal-called-at hot possibly no.wonder person 3-coat without pl-3-go.pl.P
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I guess it’s warm in Phoenix. No wonder people go around without coats.

Hónáhoot’éhí ’índa ch’aa deeshááł nissin.

next.year until travel will.go.F 1-desire.

I’m thinking about traveling until next year.

jííshóó’

3DO-4-brush/comb.it.P

k’asdą́ą́’

Kin Łánídi daats’í ’éí doodago Bee’eldííldahsinildiísh naniná?

Flagstaff-at perhaps or Albuquerque-at-Q 2-go.around.CI

Kwe’éshą’ haa nízah nináhálzhishgo nináháltį́į́h?

here-Q how 3-long.N-up.to time.move.R-GO rain.R
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How often does it rain here?

Naalyéhé 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
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We went to the trading post after hay only to find that the supply had just run out.

Náá’íídéeshtah nisin doodago t’óó siláogóó deeshááł.

again-1-go.school.F 1-want or merely military-to 1-go.F

Niba’ sézį́.

2-wait 1-stand.SPN
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I’m waiting for you.

nidajiskáá’

pl-3DO-4dpl-investigate.it.P

nizhdooleeł

3DO-4-carry.a.ropelike.thing.around.F

Nizhe’é haash wolyé?

2-father what-Q 3-call.NI

Obi-Wan Kenobi, shíká ’ajoolwod.

Obi-Wan Kenobi 1-after indef-4-run.P

Ronshą’ saadísh neiiłkaah?

Ron-Q word-Q 3-3-investigate.I

What about Ron, is he investigating words? / Is Ron studying words (too)?

Shilééchąą’í yázhí shikéé’ yildlosh ńt’éé’ hashtł’ish yiih yildloozh.

1-dog little 1-behind 3-walk.Prog past mud 3-into 3-walk.P

Shizhé’é mósí néidiiłts’in ńt’éé’ biyaa haalwodgo ná’ádoolts’in.

1-father cat 3-3-act.with.fist.P past 3-under 3-go.P-GO REFL-3-act.with.fist.P
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My father was going to hit the cat with his fist but it ran out from under him and he hit himself.

T’ááłáhádi kin binída’shiilzhiizh dóó hooghangóó dah ńdiikai.

once-at house 3-into-Pl-1dpl-dance.P home-toward start start-1dpl-go.pl.P

Tsékooh biniit’aají łįį’hoł sizį́į́go binísá.

canyon 3-barring.to.a.point horse 4-with 3-stand.SPN.GO 3-1-caught-up.P
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I caught up with him sitting on his horse at the canyon.

Tł’éédą́ą́, yá’át’ééhgo iiłhaaz. Night.last good.GO 1-sleep.P

Night.last good.GO 1-sleep.P
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Last night, I slept really well

yah

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in, inside (a spacious chamber, as a room, burrow, cavern, building, mouth)

yiilzhóóh

3DO-1dpl-brush/comb.it.I

Yiską́ągo níléí Tóhajiileehgóó shigáál deizt’i’.

tomorrow.GO over.there Tóhajiileeh-toward 1-physical.being pl-3-path.extend.P