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Tlamachtiliztli 5 Cehcen inintequiuh (The Professions)



In this lesson we will learn about some professions in Nahuatl. We will learn how to use the singular and plural versions of substantive nouns related to these titles.

Xochipitzahuatl Instrumental con El Trío Colatlán del Tío Laco CC BY Annette Fradera




A: Piyali Catalina, ¿tlen titequiti ta?

B: Na nitlamachtihquetl.

A: ¿Tlen titlamachtia?

B: Nitlamachtia Nahuatl. ¿Huan ta?

A: Na nocca nimomachtihquetl. Nimomachtia tlapohualiztli.

B: Cualtitoc, nocca mitzpolohua.

A: Quena cuah.


Show/Hide English translation


A: Hello Catalina, what work do you do?

B: I am a teacher.

A: What do you teach?

B: I teach Nahuatl. And you?

A: I am still a student. I study accounting.

B: Excellent, you still need more (studies).

A: Yes, (see you) then.


Just like in the lesson of absolute nouns, the base of the word undergoes a small grammatical transformation. In the case of the professions, a present tense verb acts like the root of the word, while a suffix takes it to its substantive form. For example:

  momachtia     “to study”

  momachti – hquetl     “student”

The verb, momacthia, lost its final vowel “a,” and the suffix, “-hquetl” was added to mark the singular substantive noun. However, for the plural form, the verb maintains its original integrity and the suffix, “-nih” is added. For example:

  momachtia     “to study”

  momachtianih     “students”

In this way, every root word goes through a small grammatical transformation. Here we present another example where a verb loses its last vowel to mark the singular, but maintains its original form to mark the plural:

tlachpana (to sweep) → tlachpanquetl (one who sweeps) → tlachpananih (those who sweep)


Here we show how we would conjugate these professions with singular and plural pronouns:


nimomachtihquetl     “I am a student”

timomachtihquetl     “you are a student”

momachtihquetl     “he/she is a student”

timomachtianih     “we are students”

inmomachtianih     “you all are students”

momachtianih     “they are students”



nitlachpanquetl     “I am a street sweeper”

titlachpanquetl     “you are a street sweeper”

tlachpanquetl     “he/she is a street sweeper”

titlachpananih     “we are street sweepers”

intlachpananih     “you all are street sweepers”

tlachpananih     “they are street sweepers”

Yancuic Tlahtolli tlen TlamachtiliztliNew vocabulary

Here we present other titles related to professions:

  momachtihquetl     “student”

  tlamachtihquetl     “professor, teacher”

  tlachpanquetl     “street sweeper”

  tlacualchiuhquetl     “cook”

  tepahtihquetl     “doctor” (en general)

  tlapahquetl     “paintor”

  calchiuhquetl     “carpenter”

  teixcopinquetl     “photographer”

  texinquetl     “hair stylist, barber”

  tlahcuilohquetl     “writer”

Chantequitl tlen momachtianihPractice for Students

Now change the following professions back to their root verb and also change them to their plural form.

Tlamachtihquetl (teacher) → tlamachtia (to teach) → tlamachtianih (teachers)