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Tïjonïk 24 Chachajij awib’! (Take care of yourself!)
Reflexive constructions


In this lesson we will learn reflexive and reciprocal constructions, as well as some nominal phrases that utilize them.


Nacho and Xwan talk about meeting up to play soccer after class.

Xwan: Xok aq’ab’ a Nacho.
Nacho:Xok aq’ab a Xwan.
Xwan:La utz awach?
Nacho:Je’, utz, e k’u ri at? La utz awach?
Xwan:Utz, maltyox. Jas kab’an chwe’q?
Nacho:Chwe’q? Kimb’e pa etz’anem.
Xwan:Jachike ramaj katb’ek?
Nacho:Pa taq a las 4. La kawaj katb’e wuk’?
Xwan:Je’, utz, kintijob’ej wib’ chech le etz’anem chirij potz.
Nacho:Utz, chuq utz we xaq si kapatz’ b’i awib’ chirij le tijonik.
Xwan:Utz la’. Jawi’ kaqil wi qib’?
Nacho:We ne utz we pa le uxlanb’al.
Xwan:Utz la’. Chajij awib’!
Nacho:Xaq junam. Chwe’q chik.
Xwan:Chwe’q chik. Jeb’a’!
Nacho: Jeb’a’!


Show/Hide English translation

Xwan: Good evening Nacho.
Nacho: Good evening, Xwan.
Xwan: How are you?
Nacho: I’m good, and you, how are you?
Xwan: Good, thanks. What are you doing tomorrow?
Nacho: Tomorrow? I’m going to play (soccer).
Xwan: What time are you going?
Nacho: At 4. Do you want to come with me?
Xwan: Yes, I do. I can practice playing soccer.
Nacho: Good, you can change after class.
Xwan: Alright. Where do we see each other? (Where sould we meet?)
Nacho: Maybe at the park.
Xwan: Ok, take care!
Nacho: You too, see you tomorrow!
Xwan: See you tomorrow. Good bye!
Nacho: Good bye!


In reflexives constructions, the subject and object of transitive verbs are the same. In K’iche’ they are formed with  the relational noun –ib’ “self” following the verb. With some exceptions, -ib’ agrees in person and number with the verbal subject, as in English.

Reflexives constructions require a transitive verb, which may be a completive passive.  In honorific address, the pronouns la/alaq are used once, after the reflexive noun (see the example below).


yourself (informal)
y’all’s selves (informal)
ib’ la
yourself (formal)
ib’ alaq
y’all’s selves (formal)
her/his/its self

An example of an incompletive reflexive verb:

Kintijoj wib’
I study.

Katijoj awib’
You study.

Kutijoj rib’
She studies.

Katijoj ib’ la.
You (formal, sg) study.

Kaqatijoj qib’.
We study

Kitijoj iwib’.
You all study.

Kakitijoj kib’.
They study.

Katijoj ib’ alaq.
You (formal, pl) study.

In the plural reflexive constructions can have a reciprocal meaning: “with each other

Kaqariq qib’ chwe’q.
We will meet each other tomorrow.

A colloquial way to say good-bye:

Qaqil chi (na) qib’!
We will see each other! See you! Bye!

The reflexive marker –ib’  occurs also in nouns. It does not take possessive markers if it is not possessed.

Ilb’al ib’

Xinloq’ jun ilb’al wib’.
I bought a mirror for myself

K’exb’em ib’ the difference

Jas le uk’exb’em rib’ le jun ruk’ le jun chik?
What is the difference between this and this other one?

Riqoj ib’
the meeting

K’o jun riqoj ib’.
There is a meeting.

K’o jun qariqoj qib’ chwe’q.
We have a meeting tomorrow.

Owan ib’
hide-and-seek (escondido, name of the game)

Ke’tz’an le ak’alab’ chech owan ib’
The children play hide and seek.

Xib’in ib’
a scare

Le nimaq’ij rech Halloween jun nimalaj xib’in ib’.
Halloween is a big scare.

Tzuqb’al qib’
something that you use to make a living; that which feeds us, puts food on the table

Are le nuchak jun tzuqb’al wib’.
My work is what puts food on the table

K’AK’A TAQ TZIJVocabulary
chajij to guard; to take care of
chajij -ib’ to be careful; to take care of one’s self
ch’ab’ej to talk with somebody
ch’ab’ej -ib’ to talk with each other
xe’j ib’//xib’ij to be frightened, scared; to frighten
kamsaj to kill
riq(o) to find
riq -ib’ to meet up
esaj/elesaj to take out; to remove
esaj ib’ to remove one’s self (from); to quit something
tijoj to teach
tijoj -ib’ (che) to study; to teach one’s self
ch’aj to wash / to bathe/shower
ch’ajoj -ib’ to wash one’s self
b’an ub’anik -ib’ to prepare

Translate the following phrases into English:

  1. Kaqatijoj qib’ che le chak.
  2. Kachajij ib’ alaq.
  3. Xinxib’ij wib’.
  4. La xich’ab’ej iwib’ iwir?
  5. Kariq ib’ alaq pa k’ayb’al.
  6. Kaqachajij qib’ pa b’e.
  7. Karesaj rib’ pa le chomal.
  8. Kich’ab’ej iwib’ ruk’ le nunan.
  9. Translate the following phrases into K’iche’:
  10. I am removing myself from the house.
  11. They were killing each other.
  12. Did you meet each other this morning?
  13. We are studying for the class.
  14. Did you (formal, pl) frighten yourselves?
  15. We are taking care of each other.
  16. Tomorrow we are talking again.
  17. Did you wash yourself?
  18. Did you prepare yourself for the meeting?
  19. I am seeing myself.