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Tlamachtiliztli 16 Tlachīhualiztli tlen panoc. Part 3 (Past Tense Verbs Part 3)


In this lesson we will learn the past tense of intransitive and transitive verbs. In Nahuatl, verbs form four classes in terms of morphology. We have already made references to class three verbs, which end in /ia/ and /oa/. Transitive and intransitive verbs can exists within any of the four classes.



Account of the feast of Ēlōtlamaliztli CC BY Chicometepetl


Clase 3

Class 3 verbs end in “-ia” and “-oa” in the present. In the past tense, they delete the last vowel and “-h” or “-hqui” are added for the singular and “-hqueh” for the plural. For example:

ni – (verbal base) – h/hqui

ti – (verbal base) – h/hqui

ø – (verbal base) – h/hqui

ti – (verbal base) – hqueh

in – (verbal base) – hqueh

ø – (verbal base) – hqueh


Tlamanēxtilli tlen ahāhuiltiliztli tlen tlachīhualiztli (Example of the conjugation of verbs)

  /illia/     “to say”

  Niquillih / Niquillihqui     “I said” (something)

Tiquillih / Tiquillihqui     “You said” (something)

Quillih / Quillihqui     “She/he said” (something)

Tiquillihqueh     “We said” (something)

Inquillihqueh     “You (plural) said” (something)

Quillihqueh     “They said” (something)


  /māquilia/     “to hit”

  Nicmāquilih / Nicmāquilihqui     “I hit it/him/her”

Ticmaquilih / Ticmāquilihqui     “You hit it/him/her”

Quimaquilih / Quimāquilihqui     “She/he hit it/him/her”

Ticmāquilihqueh     “We hit it/him/her”

Inquimāquilihqueh     “You (plural) hit it/him/her”

Quimāquilihqueh     “They hit it/him/her”


  /machtia/     “to teach”

  Nicmachtih / Nicmachtihqui     “I taught” (something)

Ticmachtih / Ticmachtihqui     “You taught it”

Quimachtih / Quimachtihqui     “She/he taught it”

Tiquimachtihqueh     “We taught it”

Inquimachtihqueh     “You (plural) taught it”

Quimachtihqueh     “They taught it”


  /choloa/     “to escape”

  Nicholoh / Nicholohqui     “I escaped”

Ticholoh / Ticholohqui     “You escaped”

Choloh / Cholohqui      “She/he escaped”

Ticholohqueh     “We escaped”

Incholohqueh     “You (plural) escaped”

Cholohqueh     “They escaped”


  /ihtoa/     “to say it”

  Niquihtoh / Niquihtohqui     “I said it”

Tiquihtoh / Tiquihtohqui     “You said it”

Quihtoh / Quihtohqui     “She/he said it”

Tiquihtohqueh     “We said it”

Inquitohqueh     “You all said it”

Quihtohqueh     “They said it”


Clase 4

Class 4 verbs take “-hqui” in the singular and  “-hqueh” in the plural. Just like class 1, this conjugation does not deletethe final vowel of the verbal base. For example:

ni – (verbal base) – hqui

ti – (verbal base) – hqui

ø – (verbal base) – hqui

ti – (verbal base) – hqueh

in – (verbal base) – hqueh

ø – (verbal base) – hqueh


Tlamanēxtilli tlen ahāhuiltiliztli tlen tlachīhualiztli (Example of the conjugation of verbs)

  /tlacuā/     “to eat”

  Nitlacuāhqui     “I ate”

Titlacuāhqui     “You ate”

Tlacuāhqui     “She/he ate”

Titlacuāhqueh     “We ate”

Intlacuāhqueh     “You (plural) ate”

Tlacuāhqueh     “They ate”


  /māmā/     “to carry it on the back”

  Nicmāmāhqui     “I carried it on my back”

Ticmāmāhqui     “You carried it  on your back”

Quimāmāhqui     “She/he carried it on her/his back”

Ticmāmāhqueh     “We carried it on our back”

Inquimāmāhqueh     “You (plural) carried it on your backs”

Quimāmāhqueh     “They carried it on their backs”

Yancuic Tlahtolli tlen TlamachtiliztliNew vocabulary

tlapāna     “to break”

calaqui     “to enter”

mēhua     “to awake”

ātiya     “to melt”

chiya     “to wait”

quiquici     “to whistle”

cuamachilia     “to understand” (something)

mihtōtia     “to dance”

tlaxcaloa     “to make tortillas”

paxaloa     “to visit”

Chantequitl tlen momachtianihPractice for Students

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


Class 3







Class 4