See also: nili, Nili, and nílʼį́



ni- (modal) + -Ø- (3rd person subject prefix) + -Ø- (classifier)-lį́ (neuter imperfective stem of root -LĮ́Į́ʼ, “to be, to become”).



  1. he/she is (some thing, or some quality)
    Diné nílį́you are Navajo.

Usage notesEdit

This verb is generally used for animate subjects. When describing something inanimate, use the verb átʼé in most cases. For existence and location, use the verb hólǫ́.

This is a neuter verb. As such, it is only used in the imperfective.


Paradigm: Neuter imperfective (ni).

NEUTER IMP singular duoplural plural
1st person nishłį́ niidlį́ daniidlį́
2nd person nílį́ nohłį́ danohłį́
3rd person nilį́ danilį́
4th person jílį́ dajílį́

Other modes are suppleted by forms of yileeh:

PERFECTIVE singular duoplural plural
1st person sélį́į́ʼ siidlį́į́ʼ dasiidlį́į́ʼ
2nd person sínílį́į́ʼ soolį́į́ʼ dasoolį́į́ʼ
3rd person silį́į́ʼ dazlį́į́ʼ
4th person jizlį́į́ʼ dajizlį́į́ʼ
FUTURE singular duoplural plural
1st person deeshłeeł diidleeł dadiidleeł
2nd person dííleeł doohłeeł dadoohłeeł
3rd person dooleeł dadooleeł
4th person jidooleeł dazhdooleeł

See alsoEdit