Chapter 12 - Grammar Summary

12.1 Pronunciation Summary

12.1.1 Vowels: Quenya vowels are pronounced similarly to those of Italian.

See also Chapter 2, Section §2.1.

12.1.2 Consonants: Quenya consonants are mostly pronounced like in English, except:

See also Chapter 3, Section §3.1.

12.1.3 Stress: Quenya stress is very regular:

See also Chapter 2, Section §2.1.3.

12.1.4 Quenya Vowel Shifts: Quenya vowels can shorten, lengthen and even vanish under various conditions.

See also Chapter 6, Section §6.1.

12.2 Noun Summary

12.2.1 Major Noun Classes: Quenya has three major classes of nouns, vocalic, e-noun and consonantal. See Chapter 1, Section §1.2.1.

12.2.2 Plural Nouns: Noun plurals vary by noun class.

See also Chapter 4, Section §4.2.1.

12.2.3 Partitive Plurals: Partitive plurals describe an indefinite group that is less than the entire class, using the suffix -li = “some, many”.

See also Chapter 6, Section §6.2.

12.2.4 Dual Nouns: Duals describe closely associated pairs.

See also Chapter 5, Section §

12.2.5 Specialized Noun Classes: Specialized noun classes are too complex to summarize cleanly. See Chapter 11, Section §11.3.

12.3 Noun Cases

Quenya has eight major noun cases. The default nominative case (used for subjects) is also used for direct objects and the object of pronouns (accusative), and thus might be better referred to as the “common” case.

VocalicSg.Du.Part. Pl.Pl.
Genitiveciryo ¹ciryatociryalionciryaron

E-nounSg.Du.Part. Pl.Pl.
Nominativelassëlassetlasselilassi ²

ConsonantalSg.Du.Part. Pl.Pl.
Nominativeatarataruatalli ³atari

12.3.1 Dative: The dative noun case is for indirect objects, equivalent to English “to, for”.

See also Chapter 5, Section §5.3

12.3.2 Genitive: The genitive noun case is for relationships similar to those with English preposition “of”:

The genitive is used for:

See also Chapter 6, Section §6.3.1

12.3.3 Possessive: The possessive noun case is for relationships similar to those with English apostrophe-s (’s).

As with adjectives, the final vowel a of the possessive becomes ë when the thing possessed is in the plural: atanwë macili “a man’s swords”, atanívë macili “men’s swords”.

The possessive is used for:

This second descriptive use is often interchangeable with the genitive. The main distinction in descriptive use is that -va tends to be used for innate attributes, while -o is used of attributes applicable in the moment: alcar Oromëo = “Orome’s glory (in the moment)” vs. alcar Oroméva = “Orome’s (inherent) glory”.

See also Chapter 6, Section §6.3.2

12.3.4 Directional Cases: The three direction cases are used as follows.

In the plural they have an additional plural marker: r or n.

The plural marker is optional for the partitive plural: ciryalinna(r), ciryalillo(n), ciryalisse(n).

See also Chapter 7, Section §7.3

12.3.5 Instrumental: The instrumental case indicates the means by which an action occurs and uses the suffix -nen after vowels. Speculative: The singular instrumental case often assimilates to the final consonant of a noun:

This last formation, with -anen, may have gradually replaced the assimilated forms in modern Quenya: neranen, etc.

See also Chapter 7, Section §7.3.5

12.4 Pronoun Summary

Quenya has four main sets of pronouns:

1st sg. “me, I, my”ni-n(yë)-(i)nyainyë
2nd sg. fam. “you, your (familiar)”tye-t(yë) ¹-(i)tya*ityë
2nd sg. pol. “you, your (polite)”lye-l(yë)-(e)lyaelyë
3rd sg. anim. “him/her, he/she, his/her”se-s(së)-(r)ya ²issë
3rd sg. inan. “it, its”sa-s(sa)*issa
1st pl. excl. “us, we, our (but not you)”me-lmë-(e)lmaelmë
1st pl. incl. “us, we, our (including you)”ve-lvë-(e)lvaelvë
2nd pl. “you, your (plural)”le-ldë-(e)lda*eldë
3rd pl. anim. “them, they, their”te-ntë ³-(i)ntaintë
3rd pl. inan. “them, they (neuter)”tai-nta*inta
1st du. excl. “us two (but not you)”met-mmë-(e)mma^emmë
1st du. incl. “both of us”vet-nquë-(i)nquainquë
2nd du. “you two”tyet/let-stë-(e)sta*estë
3rd du. “them two”tu-ttë-(e)tta^ettë

Quenya has other pronouns which can be found in the vocabulary.

12.5 Verb Summary

12.5.1 Major Verb Classes: The most common Quenya verb conjugations can be broken down into three large categories of verbs:

Pastmantëtúlë ¹

Gloss“sing (gaily)”“freeze”
Aoristlirunique ¹
Futurelirúva*nicúva ²
Perfectilírië*iníquië ²
Gerundliruyë*niquië ²

Pastfaranëlendë ¹
Perfectafáriëelélië ²
Gerund*fariëlelië ²

See also Chapter 2, Section §2.2.1.

12.5.2 Aorist Tense: Equivalent to the English simple present, for timeless or habitual actions: matë “eats”.

See also Chapter 2, Section §2.2.2.

12.5.3 Present Tense: Equivalent to the English present continuous: máta “is eating”.

See also Chapter 2, Section §2.2.3.

12.5.4 Future Tense: Describes events occurring in the future: matuva “will eat”.

See also Chapter 3, Section §3.4.1.

12.5.5 Past Tense: Describes events in the past: mantë “ate”.

Quenya past tenses are fairly irregular and the summary below only discusses the common patterns. This can be considered an “advanced topic” since things are quite complex. Beginners are often better off memorizing past tenses.

See also Chapter 4, Section §4.4.

12.5.6 Perfect Tense: The perfect tense is for completed actions whose effects are still felt in the present: amátië “has eaten”.

See also Chapter 5, Section §5.4.

12.5.7 Verb Inflections: Verbs have various suffixes indicating the subject or (less common) object of the verb.

12.5.8 Infinitives and Gerunds: Infinitives and gerunds are verb forms that often take the role of nouns in a sentence (subjects and objects).

See also Chapter 7, Section §7.2.

12.5.9 Verbal Adjectives: Quenya can form various adjectives from verbs.

See also Chapter 9, Section §9.1.

12.5.10 Specialized Verb Classes: The a-stem verbs can be further broken down into more specialized verb classes.

See also Chapter 8, Section §8.1.

12.6 Verbal Moods

12.6.1 Commands and Wishes:

See also Chapter 3, Section §3.4.

12.6.2 Impersonal Verbs and Passive Voice:

See also Chapter 9, Section §9.2.

12.6.3 Modal Verbs: Verbal moods for possibility, necessity or permissibility can be expressed in Quenya as follows.

See also Chapter 10, Section §10.4.

12.6.4 Compound Tenses, Speculative: The compound tenses combine basic verb tenses with -në to put them in the past or -(u)va to put them in the future.

See also Chapter 11, Section §11.1.

12.6.5 Subjunctive, Speculative: Quenya’s basic adverbs and conjunctions of uncertainty are as follows.

See also Chapter 11, Section §11.2.

12.7 Adjective and Adverb Summary

12.7.1 Adjectives: Adjectives generally precede the noun they modify, and must be plural if the noun they modify is plural (or partitive plural):

See also Chapter 4, Section §4.2.2.

12.7.2 Adverbs: Quenya has three ways of forming adverbs:

See also Chapter 9, Section §9.3.

12.7.3 Comparison and Intensives: Quenya doesn’t have a true comparative adjective form like English “brighter”, but has various intensive forms instead: ancalima “very bright”, arcalima “most bright”.

See also Chapter 9, Section §9.4.

12.8 Syntax Summary

12.8.1 Word Order: Quenya word order is similar to English, but not identical:

See also Chapter 4, Section §4.3.1.

12.8.2 Definite Article: The Quenya definite article is i “the”, but it is used less often than in English.

See also Chapter 6, Section §6.4.

12.8.3 “To Be” Verb:

See also Chapter 2, Section §2.3.

12.8.4 Negation

See also Chapter 5, Section §5.5.

12.8.5 Subordinate Clauses

See also Chapter 10, Section §10.1.

12.8.6 Numbers: Smaller numbers are as follows.

Larger numbers are:

Two special numbers are used for solitary items and pairs:

Numbers larger than one follow the noun:

Ordinal numbers (mostly) change the final vowel to -ëa:

Combined numbers put the smaller digit first, followed by the larger one: canta lepenquain “four fifty”, instead of the English order “fifty four”.

See also Chapter 6, Section §6.5.

12.9 Tengwar Summary

This chart shows the tengwar values used in Quenya. It is a modified version of the table from Appendix E with the addition of the tyelpetéma (series V).

1. t t p p c c qu qu ty ty
2. nd nd mb mb ng ng ngw ngw ndy ndy
3. þ s [þ] f f h -h- hw hw hy hy
4. nt nt mp mp nc nc nqu nqu nty nty
5. n n m m ñ n [ñ] ñw nw [ñw] ny ny
6. r -r v v w w y y
7. 7 r- rd rd l l ld ld ry ry
8. s i ss ss , ss ly ly
9. 9 h- hr hr hl hl l i . u

Quenya uses five vowel tehtar which can appear on short carriers (`), long carriers (~) or on preceding consonants (such as 1 = t):

The Quenya i-diphthongs use l and the u-diphthongs use .:

The tehtar for modifying Quenya consonants are:

Tengwar punctuation symbols are:

See also Chapter 4, Section §4.1 and Chapter 5, Section §5.1.