Mapudungun verb conjugation can be done in two different ways. Traditional Spanish linguists have tense affixes and affixes of grammatical polarity within the verb conjugation of Mapudungun verbs. That approach makes the Mapudungun verb conjugation similar to Spanish verb conjugation.
An alternative way of looking at Mapudungun verb conjugation is to not include any affixes. Here is the alternative way of verb conjugation explained. Creating tense by using affixes can be read about in the Appendix:Mapudungun affixes.
- A verb is inflected to show a mood, the person and a number. There are three finite moods: Realis, conditional and volitive. Verbs can be inflected to first-, second- and third-person in singular, dual and plural. Dual means two persons, plural means more than two people.
Non-finite mood forms
A verb that is not inflected is the infinitive and another categories. It is constituted by a the words root and -n or -vn, -lu, -m, -wma and -el. A word in infinitive is the same as in first-person singular realis mood.
- Infinitive: amun (“to go”)
Finite mood forms
Verbs in the realis mood indicate that the action is real. The verb indicates an action that is completed (Iñce amun = I went or I have gone). Some verbs indicate actions that are not completed actions but continuous (Iñce nien = I have).
Verbs in the conditional mood indicate an action that might happen and that it is a condition for something else to happen. (feyegvn amule egvn... = "If they leave... I will stay")
Verbs in the volitive mood indicate an action that the speaker wishes to happen. (Iñce amuci = I want to go)
In English the particle not is used to show that a action is negative (ex: I did not shoot that man). In Mapudungun there is a particle for each mood to make an action negative. The particle is put between the word root and the verb conjugation ending.
Example: ñi amunon
amulan - (I don't/didn't go)
amunuli - (If I don't go...)
amukilge / amukinolge - (Don't go!)
|-a- (future tense)|
|-pe- (past tense)|
|-fu- (distant past tense)|
|amuli||amulimi||amule||amuliyu||amulimu||amule egu||amuliyiñ||amulimvn||amule egvn|
|amuci||amuge||amupe||amuyu||amumu||amupe egu||amuyiñ||amumvn||amupe egvn|