Lesson 1.3: Indirect Objects


Welcome to part three of the first Na'vi Survival Guide lesson series: Basic Sentence Building

In part three, we will explore the other components that make up a simple sentence. By the end of this lesson, you should expect to be able to do the following:

  • Identify the indirect object of a sentence
  • Build on your knowledge to create more complex sentences using the indirect object

Take advantage of the review sections at the end of each lesson to practice and reinforce the skills you're learning, and join us on Discord for even more practice. Click the right arrow or press the right arrow key to navigate to the next section in this lesson!

indirect objects

Now that you have some practice with the basics of Na'vi sentence building, it's time to add another piece to the puzzle: indirect object.

The indirect object is sometimes referred to as the recipient. This is because the indirect object most frequently "receives" the object of the sentence via the action of the sentence.

Na'vi uses the dative noun case to indicate the indirect object. You can find the case endings below:

A, Ä, E, I, Ì EndingConsonant, O, U Ending

Note: Similar to the object case endings, the trailing u on the vowel ending can be dropped according to speaker preference.

practical use

As discussed, the dative noun case is used to indicate the indirect object or recipient of the object in a sentence. Let's take a look at a Na'vi sentence that uses the dative:

oel tìng tskoti ngaru

Note the presence of the indirect object case ending on nga here. This indicates that nga is receiving the object, tsko. Because of this, this sentence can be understood as "I give the bow to you". Pretty neat!

Thanks again to the flexibility of the Na'vi language, this sentence can be arranged in one of twenty-four ways! Don't worry, we're not going to list them out here.

intransitive use

One of the quirks of Na'vi is that there are certain intransitive verbs that can take an indirect object instead of an object (remember: vin. cannot take an object). These verbs are ones that can sometimes be transitive in English, so pay close attention to the transitivity when using a dictionary. Let's take the verb srung si as an example:

oe srung si ngaru

Note: If a verb does not have an object, even if it has an indirect object, the subject does not take a case ending.

Note: If a verb has a si included, you can quickly identify it as an intransitive verb (vin.)


The indirect object is the "recipient" of the verb and/or object of a sentence. It can be identified by asking "who does what to whom".
Indirect objects are marked with the case endings -ru/-r or -ur. -ru/-r for vowels, -ur for consonants.

Mark each noun with the correct ending. Remember the color codes for subject, object, verb and indirect object. You can hover over unfamiliar Na'vi words to see their meaning.

For the next exercises, translate the English sentence using the Na'vi words provided. Reference the case endings in the previous chapter if necessary!

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