Print Friendly

Tïjonïk 36 Chak’ama b’ik! (Take it away from here!)


In this unit, we will study directionals, particles that denote from/to where actions take place. They appear after verbs to signal direction.



Ronojel ch’aq’ab’ kinka’y aq’an chi la’ chikaj, kinwil apan jun laj ch’umil sib’alaj kachuplinik; utukelam, le uchuplinem kuya jun nimalaj utzil pa le wanima. K’o jun aq’ab’ xinel apan chwach le wo’ch, xinka’y apan chech le nutinamit, xe’nwil apan jun tzob’aj achijab’-ixoqib’ epetinaq, sib’alaj keb’isonik. Aretaq xeq’ax b’i wuk’, xkib’ij kan chwe cher xeb’e chi na chuch’ab’exik ri nimalaj q’atal tzil, are taq xinta wa’ sib’alaj xinb’isonik, ma we ne kech’ay chu’la jumul ja cha ri uk’isb’al mul.

Alaj ch’umil: we ne aweta’m at ri k’axk’olil kuriq we nutinamit, chaya la jub’eq’ ri uchuplinem ri utzil kariqitaj awuk’, na kawaj ta chik kinwil le’qatat-qanan kakiriq k’ax. Kinwachik’aj ri’ ri jun q’ij cher katkowinik katpe wuk’, arech apachin na k’u kaka’y kan pa le wo’ch: kuna’ b’i jub’eq’  utzil, ki’kotemal. Kawaj pa jun q’ij kinb’e awuk’, kate’nwila’; junam koje’xojowa pa ri k’olb’al ja wi  xya wi ri  achuplinem. Weta’am cher xa rumal sib’alaj naj ri at k’o wi, we ne na kintzalij ta chu’la pa le nutinamit, cherma we  na kintzalij ta chu’loq: oj keb’ chi k’ut kaqaya la le uchuplinem ri utzil, ri ki’kotemal chikech ri achijab’, ri ixoqib’, ri eqata-qanan, ri qati’t qamam chuqe ne ri ak’alab’ ri kakitzukuj ri utzil; ma ja cha ri at, ja  cha ri in, ja cha ri konojel taq winaq, k’is k’o ri uchuplinem ri utzil ri ki’kotemal pa taq ri uk’ux qanima.

Show/Hide English translation

Every night I look to the sky and I see a little star that shines alone. Its brightness give peace to my heart. One night I went outside my house, and I looked to my town. I saw a group of men and women on their way. They were very sad. When they passed by they told me that they were going to see the alcalde. When I heard that I got sad; maybe they had been hurt again like last time.
Little star, maybe you know the suffering of our people. Send some of your brightness, of your peace. I don’t want to see the suffering of our fathers. I dream about that day that you come to me so that anyone who sees my house can feel a bit of peace, of joy. One day I want to go to see you, to dance together in that place where your brightness was given. Maybe, because of how far it is, I won’t return to my town, but if I do not come back, we will both send the brightness of peace, the joy to the men, the women, our parents grandparents and also to the children that seek peace, like you, like me, like all people. They all have the brightness of peace, joy in the depth of their hearts.

K’iche’ has a set of post-verbal directional particles which add a sense of trajectory in/from which the event takes place with reference to the speaker or the deictic origo of the action. Deictic origo refers to the perspective from which the event is talked about:

Directionals in K’iche’:

la/ (u)loq from there to origo
b’i(k) away from origo
kan(oq) origo has moved away from scene; time reference: past
apan(oq) refers to movement between speaker and a place nearby
aq’an(oq) movement upward; time reference: future
qaj(oq) movement down, vertical movement
koq/ka  towards inside; horizontal movement on eye-level


Xekanaj              kan                 le ajchakib’.
They remained BACK  THERE the workers

“The workers” are the subject in this phrase, however, the directional kan reveals that the action is talked about from a perspective removed from the place of the action.

The directionals can often be translated as (MAIN VERB ACTION)  + “and then he goes away or out/come here/leave behind/goes up/goes down/goes in”

Some directionals change forms according to phonological environment; directionals have phrase-medial and phrase-final forms, and sometimes merge with other particles. Sometimes they give a specific meaning to a verb; for example:

k’am+ b’ik        “take away (there)”

k’am + uloq     “bring (here)”


la/ (u)loq
This form is used when action occurs towards the speaker’s spatial location. When (u)loq is not utterance final, it takes the form la. Uloq loses its first vowel when the preceding word ends in a vowel or vowel-like sound.


Le achi xka’y loq.
The man looked in this direction (towards the speaker).


Iwir xintzalij uloq.
I returned (here) yesterday.


We k’o arajil chak’ama loq.
If you have money, bring it here.

Note that what distinguishes ‘take’ from ‘bring’ in K’iche’, is the directional accompanying the verb –k’am:+ b’ik  “take away (there)”  and k’am+uloq “bring here”


We k’o arajil, chak’ama la chwe’q.
If you have any money, bring it tomorrow.


Iwir xujtzalij la pa k’ayb’al.
Yesterday we came back from the market.


(u)loq combines with other adverbs or pronouns, changing sometimes its phonological shape:

With na:                      Later, afterwards (this adds a sense of “future”)
Na + (u)loq > nu’loq
 Na + la > nu’la


Chwe’q kink’am nu’loq.
I will bring it here tomorrow

With la                       You (formal)
 la + loq > lu’loq
la + la > lu’la


La katzalij lu’la aninaq?
Will you (formal) return here quickly?

With wi                       Trace
wi + loq > wu’loq
 wi + la > wu’la


Jawi xak’am wu’la la’ le atz’yaq?
From where did you bring the clothes here?

With chi                        Again
chi + loq > chu’loq
 chi+la> chu’la


Le achi xka’y chu’loq.
The man looked again in this direction.

With na…taj                   Negators
Na…taj + loq > Na… tu’loq
 Na…taj + la > Na…tu’la


Na nuk’amom tu’la ri’.
I have not brought that here.


This form is used with actions involving movement away from the speaker’s spatial location or deictic origo. When not in clause-final position, b’ik takes the form b’i.


Le ali xel b’ik.
The girl went out (away from here).


Le achijab’ xeq’ab’ar b’ik.
The men got drunk before going away from here.

Contrast Ex. 12 with Ex. 13 and 14:

Xeq’ab’ar la le achijab’.
The men got drunk.


Le achijab’ xe’q’ab’aroq.
The men went away and got drunk.


Chak’ama b’ik!
Take it away from here!


Le ali xel b’i pa ja.
The girl went out away from the house (the speaker is in the house).


Xujch’ay b’ik.
We were beaten away (from the house).


B’i(k) combines with other adverbs or pronouns, changing  sometimes its phonological shape:

With na                      Later, afterwards
 Na + b’ik > Nu’b’ik
 Na + b’i > Nu’b’i


Kink’am nu’b’i chwe’q.
I will take it away tomorrow.

With la                       You (formal)
la + b’ik > lu’b’ik
 la + b’i > lu’b’i


La kamik kak’am lu’b’ik?
Will you (formal) take it away today?

With wi                       Trace
wi + b’ik > wu’b’ik
wi + b’i > wu’b’i


Le rajil, la pa ja xelaq’ax wu’b’ik?
Was money stolen away from the house?

With chi         again
chi + b’ik > chu’b’ik
 chi + b’i > chu’b’i


Xek’am chu’b’i le ak’alab’.
The children were taken away again.

With na…taj              Negators
na…taj + b’ik > na…tu’b’ik
 na…taj + b’i > na…tu’b’i


Na kaqak’am tu’b’i kamik.
We’re not taking it away today.


This form is used to indicate that the speaker/subject has moved away from the event location. Kanoq is found in phrase-final position and kan elsewhere.


Xekanaj kan le ajchakib’.
The workers remained behind.


Xinya kan le nuchim pa k’ayb’al.
I left my bag in the market.


Na xpe ta le qachi’il, xa warnaq kanoq.
Our friend didn’t come, he remained behind sleeping.


Xqaya kanoq.
We left it behind.


Le qatat xub’ij kanoq chi kape chi na.
Our father said before he left that he would come again later.


This form is used with actions involving movement between the speaker and a point in space located nearby. Alternatively, it may indicate that the narrative’s deictic origo is not the sentence subject’s position, but the speaker’s.


Xinyoq’ apanoq rumal cher na utz ta xinwil le wachib’al “Apocalypto” ub’i’.
I was kicked around because I did not like the movie Apocalypto.


Le al Ixkik’ kakowinik katz’ib’an apanoq, chuq kach’aw apanoq pa nik’aj chik tinamit.
Ixkik’ can write and speak to (people in) other countries.


Xa b’a kaqil qib’ kojej aretaq chintzalij apan chwa ja.
Hopefully, we will see each other in four days when I get back home.

This directional denotes movement upward. It can also refer to days into the future.

31.Kimb’e aq’an ruk’ le al Talin. / Kimb’e aq’anoq.
I am going up there with Talin. / I am going up there.

32. Pa oxib’ q’ij aq’anoq, kimb’e ruk’ le nutat.
In three days, I will go with  my father.

This directional implies movement downward.

33. Xinxuli’ qaj pa le ja. / Xinxuli’ qajoq.
I went down in/to the house (down stairs within the house, down from one house to another). I went down.

This directional indicates that the event is happening towards an “inside”.


Kimb’e na ka pa le wo’ch.
I am just stepping inside my house (for a moment)


Kinka’y ka pa le wo’ch.
I am peeking into the house (the understanding is that the head is stuck through the doorway/window ; movement of head is vertical on eye level)

K’AK’A TAQ TZIJVocabulary
sipaj (vtr) to give (as a gift)
ka’y(ik) (vit) to look
tzalij (vit) to return
q’abar(ik) (vit) to become drunk
wachib’al  movie, picture, painting, photograph

Translate the following phrases into English

  1. Qak’ama b’i le tz’i’. Xa kaqasipaj che le qachalal.
  2. Janipa chi ix qajnaq la waral pa tinamit?
  3. Karaj le achi kutij uwa chanim; chak’ama loq.
  4. La kaj la kab’e la quk’ pa muqunik?
  5. Xkanaj kan le achi je la’ pa taq’aj. Na xuq’i’ ta chik xpe quk’.
  6. Na xekowin ta le winaq xkik’am la le kalk’w’al waral pa kunaxik.
  7. Kachokon le laq chwe; utz kiya kanoq.
  8. Kutij nu’b’i le uwa le wachajil, k’a te k’u ri’ kab’e pa chak.
  9. Janipa kakowin la katzalij chi lu’loq?
  10. Na kujwa’ ta chik. Xtijtaj la qech chuwa ja.
  11. Kinch’aw apanoq ruk’ le numial aretaq chintzalij chwa wo’ch.

Translate the following phrases to K’iche’:

  1. Do you (lal) want to take the dog away with you?
  2. I was not able to bring my friend here today.
  3. Leave (alaq) the dry ears of corn in the house.
  4. If the marimba is useful to the marimba players, we’ll bring it here tomorrow afterwards.
  5. Take care of yourself (lal) Diego. (You remaining behind)
  6. It is necessary that the money be returned here to the owner.
  7.  I am stepping into my house (for a moment)