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Temporal Infixes

You may have wondered how to say that an action already happened or is going to happen in the future, like “He ran”, “She is going to swim”, “They ate”, etc..
To do this in Na’vi you need so called Infixes.

But what are Infixes?
Infixes are little snippets, which are included into the word. In Na’vi you can only use infixes on verbs and only at some positions inside these verbs. These infixes can show nearly anything, the tense, the mood, etc.

Infix positions
There are 3 positions inside of a verb in Na’vi named <0>, <1> and <2>. Position <2> most of the time is before the last vowel of the verb and position <0> and <1> is before the penultimate vowel.
Too theoretical? Okay then let’s look at an example. Let’s use the word slele.
The positions for this one is: sl<0><1>el<2>e.
For verbs with only one vowel, all infixes are in front of this vowel. s<0><1><2>i for example.

But like in every language there are some exeptions, espcially when a verb is build up from two other words, so sometimes you should look the positions up on

Where to place the temporal infixes?
Temporal infixes are at the position <1>.

What do I have to know about using infixes?
When you use an temporal infix you set the timeframe for the entire text, so after you used the first temporal infix you don’t have to use them again, until you want to change the timeframe.

When you want to include an infix into a si-verb all infixes have to be inside of si.
ätxäle sami, kem sayi, etc.

What are the temporal infixes?
The Na’vi distinguish between near and distant past or future.

Past Future
near ìm ìy
distant am ay

There is no rule which declares when to use either near or future version of the infix.
So these are the infixes the Na’vi use to indicate the tense of the action. So now you can basically do this. But let’s look at some examples.

If there already is an adverb setting the timeframe, there is no need for a temporal infix! For expamle: “Trray oeng taron” already sets the timeframe trough “trray” so there is no need for a temporal infix


Verb distant past near past near future distant future
slele slamele slìmele slìyele slayele
taron tamaron tìmaron tìyaron tayaron
fwew fwamew fwìmew fwìyew fwayew
tul tamul tìmul tìyul tayul

In a Nutshell

There are three infix positions inside of a verb, which are called <0> <1> and <2>. Position <2> is in front of the last vowel, while <0> and <1> are in front of the penultimate vowel
The temporal infixes are for position <1>
The infixes are “ìm” for near past, “am” for distant past, “ìy” for near future and “ay” for distant future


Exercise 1:
Please insert a temporal infix of your choice into these verbs.

  1. fmi
  2. srew
  3. run
  4. tslam
  5. spaw
  6. kem si
  7. ätxäle si

Exercise 2:
Please translate the following sentences.

  1. Po tayaron
  2. mamakto awnga
  3. Trray oeng taron. Kxawm tspìyang yerikit ngal!
  4. She saw the atokirina’
  5. He learned
  6. Yesterday he hunted and he is going to cook his prey.