08 Perfect, pronouns
The perfect tense
The perfect tense of basic verbs is formed by adding the ending -ië to the verbal stem. The stem vowel (usually the first vowel in the stem) is copied and added to the beginning of the word as a prefix. It is also lengthened, unless it is followed by more than one consonant.
Step for step example with “mel-” (love)
1. change ending > “melië”
2. copy stem vowel and glue to beginning > “emelië”
3. lengthen stem vowel if possible > “emélië” (“has loved”)
The perfect tense of A-stem verbs is formed in exactly the same way, except that the final -a has to be removed before the ending -ië can be added.
Example: “mitta-” (enter) > “imittië” (has entered)
A reminder: The long vowels á, é, í, ó, ú change into their short variants when they are followed by more than one consonant (the letter y is also a consonant).
1. Verbs in “-ya” drop this ending before “-ië” is added.
Example: “varya-” (protect) > “avárië” (has protected)
2. It is not known for sure what happens to verbs beginning in a vowel. One possibility is that they get no prefix.
Example: “anta-” (give) > “antië” (has given)
Alternatively, the first syllable could be duplicated and used as a prefix: Example: “anta-” (give) > “anantië” (has given). In the workbook exercises I have used the simpler variant, with no prefix, but you may of course use either variant in your answers. Just be consistent.
Notice that the Quenya perfect tense consists of one word only; it is not like English, where we need the auxiliary verb “has” or “have”.
Pronouns in Quenya usually occur as pronominal endings, which are glued to the end of verbs.
“I” (1st person singular) is written as the ending “-n” or “-nyë”.
Example: “antan” or “antanyë” (I give)
Unlike present day English, but similar to many other European languages, Quenya has two different pronouns for the 2nd person (“you”).
Singular “you” is “-l” or “lyë”. Example: “antal” or “antalyë” (you give)
Plural “you” is “-ldë”. Example: “antaldë” (you give)
“He, she, it” (3rd person singular) is “-s” or *”-ryë”
Example: “antas” or “antaryë” (he/she/it gives)
The short form is the one most often used in simple constructions like these, but if a second ending is to be added, the long form must be used instead. The pronoun denoting the subject comes first, then the pronoun for the object.
Examples: “antanyel” (I give you), “antalyen” (you give me).
* Notice: The form “-ryë” is not attested in Tolkien’s writings, but is widely accepted as a possible long form of “-s”. Other variants are “-ro” for “he” and “-rë” for “she”. All of these are recognized and understood by Quenya students. Use whichever appeals most to you, but please be consistent. Choose either “-ryë” or “-ro/-rë”!
Lesson Eight Vocabulary list
hehta- “abandon, forsake, put aside, exclude”
col- “bear, wear, carry”
car- “build, make, do”
mára “good, useful”
Tengwar Lesson 8
The next sound on our list is ‘l’:
The combination ‘ld’ occurs frequently in Quenya and as the ‘d’ never appears on its own, we need a combined tengwa for ‘ld’.
It is also time to look at the punctuation marks in tengwar: