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Tlamachtiliztli 15 Tlachihualiztli Tlen panoc Part 2 (Past Tense Verbs Part 2)


In this lesson we will see verbs in past tense. In Nahuatl, verbs are divided into four classes, and we have already made references to verbs of class three, which end with the vowels /ia/ and /oa/. These verbs change in relation to their tense, but the past tense modifies verbs with more complexity. Transitive and intransitive verbs can exists within any of the four classes.

In the same way that we have seen conjugations in previous lessons, the past tense changes verbs through its suffix. Next we will see various examples of the past tense in Class 2.


Clase 2

In class 2, the verbs takes the suffix “-qui” to mark the singular and the suffix “-queh” to mark the plural. The final vowel is omitted once the suffix is added in the preterite tense.

ni – (verbal base) – qui

ti – (verbal base) – qui

ø – (verbal base) – qui

ti – (verbal base) – queh

in – (verbal base) – queh

ø – (verbal base) – queh

Some verbs in class 2 change drastically, especially verbs that end in the syllables, /hu/ and /cu/; verbs whose last consonant is /y/, /qu/, /c/, and /m/. Next we will see its conjugation and a few examples.


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

  /quiza/     “to go out”

Niquizqui     “I went out”

  Tiquizqui     “You went out”

Quizqui     “She/he went out”

Tiquizqueh     “We went out”

Inquizqueh     “You (plural) went out”

Quizqueh     “They went out”


/toca/     “to plant corn”

Nictocqui     “I planted cord”

Tictocqui     “You planted corn”

Quitocqui     “She/he planted corn”

Tictocqueh     “We planted corn”

Inquitocqueh     “You (plural) planted corn”

Quitocqueh     “They planted corn”


/hueli/     “to be able”

Nihuelqui     “I was able”

Tihuelqui     “You were able”

Huelqui     “She/he was able”

Tihuelqueh     “We were able”

Inquihuelqueh     “You (plural) were able”

Huelqueh     “They were able”


The verbs in class 2 that change drastically are the following:

1.Verbs with the last syllables /hu/ and /cu/

hu     →     uh

Niccohua     “I buy” (something)

  Niccouhqui     “I bought” (something)


cu     →     uc

Nicahcocui     “I preserve, put away” (something)

Nicahcoucqui     “I preserved, put away” (something)


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

  /cohua/     “to buy”

  Niccouhqui     “I bought” (something)

Ticcouhqui     “You bought” (something)

Quicouhqui     “She/he bought” (something)

Ticcouhqueh     “We bought” (something)

Inquicouhqueh     “You (plural) bought” (something)

Quicouhqueh     “They bought” (something)


  /ahcocui/     “preserve, put away”

Nicahcoucqui     “I preserved, put away” (something)

Ticahcoucqui     “You preserved, put away” (something)

Quiahcoucqui     “She/he preserved, put away” (something)

Ticahcoucqueh     “We preserved, put away” (something)

Inquiahcoucqueh     “You (plural) preserved, put away” (something)

Quiahcoucqueh     “They preserved, put away” (something)


2. Verbs with the last consonants /y/, /qu/, /c/, y /m/.

y     →     x

Nicpiya     “I have” (something)

  Nicpixqui     “You had” (something)


qu     →     c

  Nictequi     “I cut” (something)

  Nictecqui     “I cut” (something)

c     →     z

  Nitici     “I grind corn”

  Nitizqui     “I ground corn”


m     →     n

Ninehnemi     “I walk”

  Ninehnenqui     “I walked”


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

  /piya/     “to have”

  Nicpixqui     “I had (something)”

Ticpixqui     “You had” (something)

Quipixqui     “She/he had” (something)

Ticpixqueh     “We had” (something)

Inquipixqueh     “You (plural) had” (something)

Quipixqueh     “They had” (something)


  /tequi/     “to cut”

  Nictecqui     “I cut” (something)

Tictecqui     “You cut” (something)

Quitecqui     “She/he cut” (something)

Tictecqueh     “We cut” (something)

Inquitecqueh     “You (plural) cut” (something)

Quitecqueh     “They cut” (something)


  /tici/     “grind corn”

  Nitizqui     “I ground corn”

Titizqui     “You ground corn”

Tizqui     “She/he ground corn”

Tiquizqueh     “We ground corn”

Intizqueh     “You (plural) ground corn”

Tizqueh     “She/he ground corn”


  /nehnemi/     “to walk”

  Ninehnenqui     “I walked”

Tinehnenqui     “You walked”

Nehnenqui     “She/he walked”

Tinehnenqueh     “We walked”

Innehnenqueh     “You (plural) walked”

Nehnenqueh     “They walked”

Yancuic Tlahtolli tlen TlamachtiliztliNew vocabulary

  illia     “to say” (something)

  maquilia     “to hit” (something, someone)

  machtia     “to teach” (something)

  choloa     “to escape”

  ihtoa     “to speak” (something)

  tlacua     “to eat”

  mama     “to carry on back” (something)

ahci     “to swim”

huetzca     “to laugh”

huitoni     “to jump”

Chantequitl tlen momachtianihPractice for Students

Conjugate the following verbs in the past tense in all persons and in singular and plural.

Class 2

Huitoni (to jump)

Tlapana (to break)