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Subject and Object | -L and -T Suffix

Introduction / -L & -T Suffix
“Suff… what?” you may ask now, but that’s only the fancy word for ending, in this case for case endings. Na’vi has a pretty free word order, so almost no rules where to put which word within the sentence, but somehow one has to know which word is the subject, which one the object, sl. . This is done with case endings in Na’vi. But for a Na’vi sentence to have these endings you need a transitive verb. If you’re now completely confused, that’s okay. Will explain this now.

Transitive and intransitive
Even more fancy words… I’m sorry, I’ll explain them here. Transitive is only the fancy word for a verb having an object. For example one can hunt something but not sleep someone. Therefor hunt is a transitive verb, while sleep is intransitive. Let’s take that knowledge to Na’vi. Also here taron (hunt) is transitive, while hahaw (sleep) is intransitive.
You can see if a verb is transitive in the dict. Vtr. is for transitive, vin. for intransitive and v. for verbs where we don’t know yet.

Nga hahaw You sleep
taron oe yerik I hunt the Yerik? The Yerik hunts me? No one knows.

In the example taron oe yerik you can see why these case endings are so important, because without them you wouldn’t know who hunts how, because of the free word order. So let’s look at them.

The Suffixes / -L & -T
The suffixes to show who is the subject and who is the object of the sentence are -l and -t, but with a few rules. But first the basics. The subject has the -l suffix, while the object has the -t suffix.
For example:

Taron oel yerikit I hunt the yerik
Taron oet yerikìl The Yerik hunts me.
Art by EanaUnil for

Through these suffixes we now know who hunts who.
Now to the rules of the suffixes. Because it is not always just -l or -t.
For the -L suffix:
If the noun ends on a consonant or ll / rr it gets the suffix: -ìl
If the noun ends on a vowel it gets the suffix: -l
For the -t suffix / objects:
If the noun ends on a consonant or ll / rr / aw / ew it gets the suffix: -it or -ti
If the noun ends on a vowel or it gets the suffix: -t or -t(i)

Every transitive Verb can have an object, but doesn’t need to have one. If you have no object you don’t need the -t & -t suffix. You can say “Oe taron”, you don’t need to add an object

Free word order
Like I already wrote in the first paragraph Na’vi need these suffixes because of the free word order. First a example to show what I mean with free word order

Oel taron yerikit
Oel yerikit taron
Yerikit oel taron
Yerikit taron oel.
Taron yerikit oel
Taron oel yerikit.

All of these sentences have the same meaning, which is I hunt the yerik. This example should show why these suffixes are nessecary for everyone to understand what you say.

In a Nutshell

Transitive is only a fancy word for verbs that can have an object, while intransitive don’t have one.
If the subject ends on a consonant, rr or ll it gets the -ìl If it ends on a vowel it get’s the -l suffix.
If the object ends on a consonant, rr or ll it gets the -it / -t(i) suffix. If it ends on a vowel it get’s the -t / -t(i) suffix.


Exercise 1:
Please translate the following sentences.

  1. Oel syuveti ‘em.
  2. Neytiri tul.
  3. Ninatìl sar tstalit.
  4. The Skypeople destroy the hometree
  5. Tsu’tey bothers Neytiri
  6. The Ikran flies

Exercise 2:
Please fill in the right Case endings where they belong.

  1. I visit my family
    Oe__ frrfen__ oeyä soaia__
  2. The Nantang bites him
    Po__ frìp__ nantang__
  3. I learn
    Oe__ nume__
  4. You kill the yerik
    Nga__ tspang__ yerik__