Past & Future

Kaltxì! And welcome to Lesson 2 of the Simplified Grammar Lessons series.

Ok so now we discuss how to talk about the past and the future.


The Past

The Future

Infix Locations

Vocabulary Used

The Past

In English, verbs are usually changed somehow to show that whatever it is happened in the past. For example:

Present Past
eat ate
find found
run ran
hunt hunted
walk walked

The pain about this in English is, these are very unpredictable and have to just be memorized.

In Na'vi, verbs are also changed, but it is very predictable. You just put an infix inside in order to change it to a specific meaning. For talking about the past, the following are inserted into the Na'vi verb:

Infix Meaning
<am> happened in the past
<ìm> just happened in the recent past

Here is a sentence in the present tense:

oel taron yerikit.
I hunt hexapede.

Here it is in the past tense:

oel yerikit tamaron.
I hunted hexapede.

And here it is in the "recent past" tense:

tìmaron oel yerikit.
I just hunted hexapede.

As you can see, I took advantage of the flexible word order of Na'vi in these examples. :)Also, when speaking or reading, don't put emphasis/stress on the infixes (such as <am> or <ìm>). Rule of thumb: The original verb nearly always keeps its stress.

By the way, click here to learn more about yerik. :D

The Future

In English, to talk about the future, we use a helper verb will. For example, You will eat teylu. and She will help me.

In Na'vi, we don't use a helper verb like will. Instead, like talking about the past, something is put inside the verb that means it will happen in the future. For making a prediction about the future, the following are inserted into verbs:

Infix Meaning
<ìy> about to happen in the near future
<ay> will happen in the future

For example:

Ngal teyluti yayom.
You will eat teylu.

Po srung sìyi oeru.
S/he will help me.

Mìftxele (by the way, related to this), click here to learn more about teylu. :)

Even though srung si (help) is two words, it's best thought of as a single package. It really means to do assistance. So what I really said there is She is about to do assistance to me.

Also, notice how the <ìy> is put inside the si part of srung si. This is how it's done for all other verbs of this kind. Such as tìkangkem si (to work), pamrel si (to write), etc. Which brings me to the next point...

Infix Locations

So how do I know where in the verb to put these things? Well...it's easiest to use the LearnNavi dictionary. Here's how it works. To start, here is the entry for taron:

  • taron: [ˈt·a.ɾ·on] JC,PF vtr. hunt

Look at the part in blue. That is the pronunciation guide. In some entries, this part looks all scary and has loads of weird looking symbols. But for this blog post and lesson though, we are only concerned about the two raised dots which I've colored red here.

These raised dots show you where to put things in.

This blog post only contains stuff that would go in the first dot's space. Some verbs only have one dot. If so, that's where it goes.

  • kar: [ˈk·aɾ] PF vtr. teach

Vocabulary Used

Na'vi English
kaltxì intj. hello
taron vtr. hunt
yerik n. hexapede
teylu n. beetle larva
srung si vin. help
srung n. help, assistance
mìftxele adv. in this regard, related to this matter
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