Quenya 

á hyamë rámen úcarindor

pray for us sinners

The sixth line of Aia María, Tolkien’s translation of the Ave Maria prayer. The first word á is the imperative particle, indicating that the verb form hyamë “pray” is an imperative. The third word rámen “for us” is combination of the preposition “for” (lit. “✱on behalf of”) and the dative men of the pronoun me “us”. The last word úcarindor “sinners” is the plural of úcarindo “sinner”.

Decomposition: Broken into its constituent elements, this phrase would be:

> á hyamë rá-me-n úcarindo-r = “✱do pray for-us-(dative) sinner-(plural)”

Conceptual Development: In the first two versions of the prayer Tolkien suffixed the pronoun lye “you (polite)” to the imperative particle a: alye (I-II). He also used the verb arca (I-II) instead of hyamë (III-IV) for “pray”. He used several different words for the preposition “for”: atar (I), meter (II), hrá (III deleted) and , always followed by the pronoun me “us”, sometimes dative (men) and sometimes not (me).

Tolkien considered several words for “sinners”: ulcarindor (I deleted), naicandor (I), naicor (I replacement), naici (II deleted) and úcarindor (IV). In version II of the prayer, Tolkien replaced “sinners” with a subordinate clause: i naici nar “✱[those] who are sinners” (II deleted) >> i naiquear “✱[those] who sin” (II).

Wynne, Smith and Hostetter analyzed the word naiquear as an adjective used as a plural noun: “sinners” (VT43/34). However, since it replaced a verbal phrase, I think it is likelier to be the present tense of an otherwise unattested verb naiqua- “✱to sin”.

| |  I  | II |III|IV| |{arca >>}|alye|á| |{alye >>}|arca|hyamë| |{atarmen >>}|atarme|meterme|{hrá >>} rá men|rámen| |{ulcarindor >>}| naicandor [>> naicor]|i {naici nar >>} naiquear|úcarindor|

Element in


á“imperative particle”
hyam-“*to pray”
“*for, on behalf of”
me“us (exclusive)”


  • {arca alye >>} alye arca {atarmen >>} atarme naicor ✧ VT43/26
  • alye arca {atarme >>} meterme i {naica nar >>} naiquear ✧ VT43/27
  • á hyame {hrá >>} rá men úcarindor ✧ VT43/27
  • á hyame rámen úcarindor ✧ VT43/28
  • aly’ arca {atarni} >> meterni ✧ VT43/33
  • alya arca {atarni} ✧ VT43/33
Quenya [VT43/26; VT43/27; VT43/28; VT43/33] Group: Eldamo. Published by