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Tlamachtiliztli 17 Na nimocehuia pan cuaciyah (I Sit in the Chair)


In this lesson we will see the particle, /mo/, which functions like a prefix to indicate a reflexive mode in all four classes of verbs. This particle refers to three types of activities. The first is a reflexive action. The second is a mutual action between two or more people. And the third is an action in passive voice. Next we will explain the particle /mo/.



1. Reflexive Action

The reflexive action refers to a grammatical construction where the direct object of the verb is the same as the subject or agent doing the action. In this instance, /mo/ can be used with all the subjects markers for all four classes of verbs.

Tlamanextilli tlen ahahuiltiliztli tlen tlachihualiztli (Example of conjugation of verbs)

  /itta/     “to see”

  Nimoitta     “I see myself”

  Timoitta     “You see yourself”

  Moitta     “He/she sees himself/herself”

  Timoittah     “We see ourselves”

  Inmoittah     “You (plural) see yourselves”

  Moittah     “They see themselves”


  /cehuia/    “to sit”

  Nimocehuia     “I seat myself”

  Timocehuia     “You seat yourself”

  Mocehuia     “He/she seats himself/herself”

  Timocehuiah     “We seat ourselves”

  Inmocehuiah     “You (plural) seat yourselves”

  Mocehuiah     “They seat themselves”


  /xilhuia/     “to comb, brush”

  Nimoxilhuia     “I comb, brush myself”

  Timoxilhuia     “You comb, brush yourself”

  Moxilhuia     “He/she combs, brushes himself/herself”

  Timoxilhuiah     “We comb, brush ourselves”

  Inmoxilhuiah     “You (plural) comb, brush yourselves”

  Moxilhuiah     “They comb, brush themselves”


2. Mutual action

The mutual action refers to an action that is pluralized between two or more people. The reflexive action and the mutual action have the same structure, but they need to be distinguished by the sentence context. For example:

Tlamanextilli tlen ahahuiltiliztli tlen tlachihualiztli huan cequin tlahtolpameh (Example of conjugation of verbs and some sentences)


“They see themselves” (separately, on the mirror).

“They see themselves” (mutually, between each other).



“You all comb yourselves.”

“You all comb yourselves” (mutually, between each other).


3. The passive voice

The passive voice refers to an impersonalized action without a subject marker. In this instance the “mo-” particle functions like the subject. The passive voice is indicated by the third person singular and plural. By integrating the particle “mo-” with a transitive verb, the verb loses its object marker. This is explained in the following examples.

Tlamanextilli tlen ahahuiltiliztli tlen tlachihualiztli huan cequin tlahtolpameh (Example of conjugation of verbs and some sentences)

  /cua/     “to eat”

  Niccua→     Niccua miac nacatl.     “I eat a lot of meat.”

  Mocua→     Mocua miac nacatl.     “A lot of meat is eaten.


  /cahua/     “to leave”

  Niccahua→      Niccahua yoyomitl pan cuatlapechtli.     “I leave the clothes on the bed.”

  Mocahua→     Mocahua yoyomitl pan cuatlapechtli.     “The clothes is left on the bed.”


  /oni/     “to drink”

  Quionih→     Inihhuantin quionih tzopelatl campa tlaixpiyalli.     “They drink soda at the dance.”

  Mooni→     Mooni tzopelatl campa tlaixpiyalli.     “Soda is drunk at the dance.”


4. Special use of “mo-“

In some cases the particle “mo-” is already integrated into the verbal base. These verbs do not indicate the reflective action, mutual, or passive.

Tlamanextilli tlen ahahuiltiliztli tlen tlachihualiztli (Ejemplo de conjugación de verbos)

  /motlaloa/     “to run”

  Nimotlaloa     “I run”


/mocicinia/     “to get angry”

  Timocicinia     “You get angry”


  /mocuitlahuia/     “to take care of” (something, someone)

  Quimocuitlahuia     “He/she cares for it.”

Chantequitl tlen momachtianihPractice for Students

Tequitl Ce (Activity One): Match the following words with the images, according to what we saw in this unit.

moitta, moxilhuia, motlaloa, monamaca, timoittah, mocua, timoxilhuiah, mochihchihua


Tequitl Ome (Activity Two): make two sentences with the reflective action for each of the following verbs.







Tequitl Eyi (Activity Three): Construct a paragraph using the following verbs.

monomaca, mochihua, motlamaca, mocua, motehtequi