Quenya adjectives usually end in “-a” or “-ë”, or, less often, in “-in”.
The normal word order is to let the adjective come before the noun, just like in English, e.g. “malina lótë” (a yellow flower).
Reversed word order may be used in poetry, for emphasis or when the adjective is part of a title e.g. “Elendil Voronda” (Elendil the Faithful)
Adjectives agree in number with the noun they describe, so with a plural noun the adjective must be pluralized. The same rule applies when the adjective describes more than one noun, or a dual noun.
The plural endings are:
-ë (for adjectives ending in “-a” in singular)
-ië (for adjectives ending in “-ëa” in singular)
-i (for adjectives ending in “-ë” or “-in” in singular)
malina lótë (a yellow flower) > malinë lóti (yellow flowers)
úmëa atar (an evil father) > úmië atari (evil fathers)
sindë car (a grey building) > sindi cardi (grey buildings)
firin orco (a dead orc) > firini orcor (dead orcs)
When the word “is” is used to connect a noun with an adjective in phrases such as “the flower is yellow”, it’s referred to as the “copula”. The Quenya copula is “ná” (singular) and “nar” (plural). Examples: I lótë ná malina. (The flower is yellow), I lóti nar malinë (The flowers are yellow).
For negation, we use forms of the verb um- (“to not be”).
Examples: I lótë umë malina (The flower is not yellow). I loti umir malinë. (The flowers are not yellow).
The copula (ná/nar) is sometimes understood (left out), but the normal way is to use it.
Lesson 4 Vocabulary list
vanima “beautiful, fair”
úvëa “very large, abundant”
culuina “orange” (the colour)
umë “is not”
umir “are not”
Tengwar lesson 4
The four tengwar of this lesson are the voiced counterparts of those of the previous lesson. Again each of these tengwar has two bowls but the stem is the downwards version of those tengwar.
So if you compare them: ‘t’ and ‘nd’ both have downwards pointing stems, ‘nt’ however has an upwards pointing stem even though its pronunciation is closer to ‘t’.
Remark: the sounds ‘d’, ‘b’ and ‘g’ never appear by themselves in Quenya.
Also in this lesson we meet the symbol we call the short carrier, it looks like a dotless ‘i’.
We use it when a vowel has no consonant on which it can be placed.
In Quenya there are two cases in which we need a short carrier:
• when a word starts in a vowel
• when a word has 2 consecutive vowels that don’t form a diphthong, in this case the second vowel is put on a short carrier.
The five vowels on the short carrier look like this: