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

’Abe’ yistiní hazhóó’ógo ni’ ninishtłeeh ńt’éé’ nááłhęęsh.

ice.cream carefully stop 3-1-stop.carry.I past 3-fall.P
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I was carefully putting down a scoop of ice cream when it fell.

’Ahbínídą́ą́’ t’áadoo ’ííyą́ą́’góó biniinaa wónáásdóó sitsiits’iin diniih.

morning-past neg 1-eat.P-GO.NEG because soon 1-head 3-ache.CI

’Ahwééh náánááshdlą́ą́’.

coffee again-1-drink.R
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I drank coffee again.

’Asdzą́ą́ Báhoozhóní yinishyé.

woman happy 1-called.NI
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My name is Happy Woman.

’Ayóigo deesk’aaz --- ’áyąą (’áyaańda) dah dinítsiz.

terribly cold no.wonder up 2-shiver.NI
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It’s terribly cold - - no wonder you’re shivering.

’Ałk’idą́ą́’ Naayéé’ Neizghání ha’a’aahjigo ’atsiniltł’ish bił dah yizdéél jiní.

long.ago Monster Slayer east-to lightning 3-with up 3-move.SFO.P 4-say

-ch’ą́ą́h

-dę́ę́’

-sh

-tah, -taa-, -ta-

Bįįh bináyaa niłchiin ’éí hataałii chodayooł’į́.

deer 3-eye beneath matter that medicineman 3-3 use.I
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The matter from under the eye fold of a deer (used for medicine ceremonially)

Chidí naat’a’íísh hooghankáá’góó ch’ínísaal ’éí doodaii’ dziłghą́ą́’góó daats’í?

airplane house-over-along over-3-fly.P TOP or mountain-attached-along perhaps

Chidíísh bee hólǫ́ ’éí doodago ni daats’í ła’ nee hólǫ́?

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

Dah díníilghaazhísh ’íilnilaa?

fry.bread-Q 3-2-make.P

Dibé tóógóó dínóshkaad.

sheep water-toward 3-1-start.herd.O

Dichinísh doodaii’ dibáá’ísh jinízin?

hunger-Q or thirst-Q 4-want.NI
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Is that one hungry or thirsty?

Díí dziłígíí shádi’ááh bich’ijígo ’ałkéé’ ’adíítąąd.

this mountain-Comp southward 3-toward-GO one-behind-another 3Pl-scatter.NP
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These mountains are strung out, one behind the other toward the south.

Díí tsin ’ał’oh neel’ą́.

this stick RECIP-less.than 3-reach.NP

Doo t’áá k’ad bá’ólta’í sélį́į’ da.

NEG just now teacher 1-be.SPN NEG
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I don’t want to become a teacher.

Díidí háísh bichidí?

this who-Q 3-car

haa níłtsááz

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how big around, how thick is it

Haa’í lá neezgai?

where Q 3-hurt.N

Haidą́ą́’ ’a’áán góne’ naashnish ńt’ę́ę́’ --- doo shił yá’áhoot’éeh da.

winter-past mine.shaft inside 1-work.I past neg 1-with 3-good.N neg

Háadi niyaa hazlį́į́’?

where-at 2-under area-grow.P
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Where did you grow up?

Hái da shą’ tsinaa’eeł ’ájiilaa lá?

who DA Q boat 3-4-make.P DISC
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(I wonder) who made this boat?

Háí lá tsinaa’eeł ’áyiilaa?

who Q boat 3-3-make.P

Hodíina’go bááh dootł’izhí deeshį́į́ł dóó ’ahwéé b ła’ deeshdlį́į́ł.

after.a.while-GO bread blue 3-1-eat.F and coffee 3-with some 3-1-drink.F
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In a while, I will eat blue corn bread and drink some coffee with it.

K’adę́ę ’ałné’e’áahgo díchin bik’ee shitah ’anahodí’niitłi’.

now noon hunger 3-account 1-among 1-shake.R
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When it is nearly noon, I get shaky from hunger.

Kintah góyaa yishááł ńt’éé’ béeso ńdiiłtsooz

areal-down 1-go.Prog past money 3-1-pick.FFO.P

Mary ha’át’íísh nayiisnii’?

Mary what-Q 3-to.buy.I

Mary hádą́ą́’sh ’ólta’dę́ę́’ nádzá?

Mary when-past-Q school-from 3-return.P

Mósí yázhí chizhtah yiyah yilwod.

kitten woodpile.among 3-under 3-run.P
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The kitten ran under the woodpile.

Naakaii Bito’gi béégashii bee łá’í ’ídlínígíí bee ’anishtah.

mexican water-at cow 3-with one-unify.P-COMP 3-with 1-among.NI
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I’m a member of the Mexican Springs Cattle Association.

Ndáa’di shizhé’é diné ła’ y ’ahi’niigą́ą’go bita’ niséyá.

summer.ceremony-at 1-father man one 3-fight.P-GO 3-between 3-1-go.siP
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When a man started fighting them with my father at the War Dance, I got in between.

Nił bééhózinísh ’éí doodaii’ nicheii daats’í bił bééhózin?

2-with 3-know.CI-Q TOP or 2-grandfather perhaps 3-with 3-know.CI

néishjį́į́h

R mode-1-become black, get sunburned.R
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I will become black, get sunburned again and again

Sha’áłchíní béeso ’ashladiin baa nínil ńt’éé’ t’ááła’ajį́ ’ałtso yibadooskai.

1-children money 50 3-for 2-put.PlO.P past at-once all 3-3-exhaust.P

Shá hooł’aah.

1-for areal-2 move-over.I

Shicheii t’áá ’íiyisíí hastihgo biniinaa kónááhoot’éhí doo na’ádódlíi da.

1-grandfather very 3-old.N-GO because next.year NEG 3-expect.live.NP NEG 
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Since my grandfather is very old he doesn’t expect to be alive next year at this time.

Shideezhí dóó sítsílí bidááh sézį́.

1-younger.sister and 1-younger.brother 2-in.front.of 1-stand.SPN
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I guard my younger sister and younger brother.

Shilééchąą’í bił na’nishkaadgo jooł bá ’abíńjíshhałgo yikéé’ náádiilwo’.

1-dog 3-with 1-herd.CI ball for 3-for 3-1-bat.R after 3-run.R
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When I’m out herding with my dog I bat fly balls for him and he chases them.

Shimá sitsilí bibéésh bee hane’í bits’ą́ą́’ náádii’ą́.

1-mother 1-little.brother 3-cellphone 3-away.from 3-3-return.P

Shí hanii t’éiyá Naasht’ézhí bizaad sh bééhózin.

I contrary only English 3-language 1-wtih 3-know.P
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I’m not the only one who knows Zuni (despite appearances to the contrary).

Shí t’óó ’ááłk’iis yisháałgo shizhé’é tsékooh gódeg ha’asbą́ą́z.

1 merely SUP-alongside 1-go.Prog-GO 1-father canyon areal-up up-3-drive.P
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My father drove (a wagon) up out of the canyon with me walking alongside.

Shį́į́dą́ą́’ na’niiłkaadgo t’áá ’áháníjį’ ’adeeshch’iłgo bik’ee deelyiz.

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Last summer when we were out herding sheep a bolt of lightning struck nearby and gave us a startle.

t’áadoo

Tsé ’ayóí ’áníłtso léi’ tsékooh góyaa hadah ch’ééłmááz.

rock remarkably large INDEF canyon areal-down areal-edge out-3-1-roll.P

Tsékooh góyaa shilééchąą’í hadah (’adah, bidah) ’abikéé’.

canyon areal-down 1-dog areal-down 3-trail-out:NI
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My dog’s tracks lead down into the canyon.

wooshjį́į́h

1-become black, get sunburned.O
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I hope to become black, get sunburned

yiishjį́į́’

1-become black, get sunburned.P