In the Nahuatl language (like others) transitive verbs require and object. In this section we will be studying the usage of the nonspecific objects. In Nahuatl, we have three options C, QU, QUI. They are located right after the subjective prefix, like niquitta (ni-qu-itta), I see it. Consider the following examples:
C, qu, qui
I it see your head (I see [it] your head)
I it grab my money (I grab [it] my money)
I have devised a simple tool to help you memorize when to use c, qu, or qui, I call it NI-TI-TI. Whenever a verb begins with a letter that is not an e or an i, the ni-ti-ti permutations of the verb will require a c. When the verb begins with any other letter (consonant or vowel), the ni-ti-ti permutations of the verb will be qu. The qui will always be used in the 2nd pl. and 3rd person s. and pl. for all verbs irrespective of what the first letter is. (See chart at bottom)
You should notice that transitive verbs that begin with an e or i will never use c in its permutations. Words that do not begin with e or i, will never use qu.
Here are three examples:
Itta: to see something or someone
Ezpoloa: to smear blood on something or someone
Piya: to have
Consider the following “Ni-Ti-Ti chart” when thinking about whether you should use a c, qu, or qui.