Quenya Verbs Conjugation Guide – Part II

Resuming from where we stopped, let’s check out the remaining Quenya verbal forms as well as compare their functionality with English verbal system. Some translation problems will arise now. Check below:



A-stem verbs Primary verbs
enyénië (lamented) amátië (eaten)
amápië (grasped) acárië (done)
isintië (known) usúcië (drunk)

Perfect formula is quite simple. Add perfect prefix to the verb (basically you repeat the first vowel of the verb) and then add -ië suffix to all verbs, primary or not. 99% times, the base vowel will become long. Once again, “isintië” is the irregular form presented here. Perfect functions as Present Perfect AND Past Perfect tense of English. There are no distinctions between both.


A-stem verbs Primary verbs
á nyéna (lament!) á matë (eat!)
á mapa (grasp!) á carë (do!)
á ista (know!) á sucë (drink!)

Ridiculously easy! Add the imperative particle “á”. That’s it! The verb remains the same. Nothing more to say about it. That’s Imperative!


Active Participle

A-stem verbs Primary verbs
nyénala (lamenting) mátala (eating)
mápala (grasping) cárala (doing)
istala (knowing) súcala (drinking)

Uh-oh! Here lies the pit one may fall if one relies simply in a word-by-word translation. Active Participle stands for a verbal tense when actually the verb is not used as a verb, but as an adjective. E.g.: The eating cow, the lamenting woman, the drinking guy. You see? The verbs here have become in essence an adjective to the nouns they are describing and/or attributing a quality. ( = adjective). NEVER confuse the -ing ending with present continuous conjugation or stuff like that. That’s not the case! To form Active Participle, add the -la suffix and make the first vowel long.


Passive Participle

A-stem verbs Primary verbs
nyénaina (lamented) mátaina (eaten)
mapaina (grasped) carna (done)
istaina (known) súcina (drunk)

Another one tricky! The twin brother of Active Participle. Same thing happen in Passive Participle, when a verb is not used as a verb itself, but as an adjective. Examples will help you with the idea: The eaten hamburger, the known puzzle, the drunk man. Don’t be hasty to translate! When you see an English verb in the perfect tense, the function itself will show you if it’s really Perfect tense in Quenya or Passive Participle. It’s always syntax that matters! Form the Passive Participle by adding the -ina and changing the first vowel from short to long. Careful with irregularities though (súcina, mapaina, carna)


A-stem verbs Primary verbs
nyénië (lamenting) matië (eating)
mapië (grasping) carië (doing)
istië (knowing) sucië (drinking)

Yeah! One more different to go. Gerund tense follows the pattern previously shown. It’s when a verb is not used as a verb, but as a NOUN! Weird? Not that much! Check the examples: The drinking, the lamenting of death, the knowing of suffering. They are nouns! There are other situations where Gerund is used in Quenya, but that’s more complex and involves case declination too. Let’s have that another time. The formation works by simply adding -ië. Pretty regular!



A-stem verbs Primary verbs
cé nyénuva (would lament) cé matuva (would eat)
cé mapuva (would grasp) cé caruva (would do)
cé istuva (would know) cé sucuva (would drink)

This one is a device, a contigency, a feature one may exploit to express better the uncertainty of a statement. Cé means “may be” and it’s related to uncertainty. When adding the uncertainty particle with future tense, one gets the conditional, the “would” not present in Quenya. Cé may be added to any tense as well. For instance: Cé acaries (he might have done), cé istan (I may know), etc.


this is it. I hope this simple, quick guide helps you conjugating Quenya verbs. It’s meant to be simple and not deep. Terms and names here are given and used to make it lighter for everyone. It’s not a treaty of linguistics, it’s just a nice and friendly guide. Use it in your elven path whenever it compels you!




Filed under English, Guide, Linguistics, Quenya

4 responses to “Quenya Verbs Conjugation Guide – Part II

  1. Hello,
    I am learning Quenya and as I am reading materials I am having some doubts and thoughts about some writers interpretation of the languages and I would like to discuss with you and see if my thoughts are in any way correct or reliable…
    I am reading Fauskanger’s Quenya course. In the forth chapter of his book about adjectives, in special predicative form, the author interprets in Fíriel’s Song the -ië end in the word márie, as the verb to be in Quenya “ye” used as suffix for the predicative form of the adjective. Tho i think that by the way it is written in the poem, without a noun following and after two points, it maybe a form to use it when there is no noun? or even it is not a verb at all but a interjection suffix instead?
    I am asking you guys because I just started studying so I don’t know all the evidences there is.

    • What Fauskanger points out in Fíriel Song is an archaic idea involving “ye” which was not kept as a valid Quenya word by Tolkien. Later, this suffix -ië was kept and it indicates gerund form of a verb which is basically used as a noun in sentences (this concept therefore keeps the function and attribute given in the word “márië” as Fauskanger mentions in lesson 4).

      So, bottom line is: The foundation in which Tolkien brought forth the idea is obsolete even though he mutated the concept and it was kept valid later on.

      Take a look at this very post about some verbal forms including gerund.

      • Hi
        Thank you for your reply.
        I understand it now. So it is not quite how I thought.
        I will keep studying and further doubts I will come to you guys.
        Thank you guys again. Wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 🙂
        Someone already translated those wishes into Quenya?

        • Nas alassenya! My pleasure to help! Anything you need, anything you want, just ask Q101! 😀

          I guess Tolkien himself translated those wishes. I’m not sure. I don’t celebrate them.

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