nér (1) (ner-, as in pl. neri) noun "man" (adult male elf, mortal, or of other speaking race) (MR:213, VT49:17, DER, NDER, NI1, VT45:9; see also WJ:393)
nér (2) pl. vb. "were"; see né and ná #1 (VT49:30)
noun. man, male person, man, male person; [ᴹQ.] adult male; [ᴱQ.] husband; warrior
The Quenya word for a “man”, or more specifically a person of male gender (WJ/393). This word is derived from the root √N(D)ER, and the é is long in Quenya as a remnant of the lengthened vowel in the primitive subjective form ndēr, but the stem form is ner- because the vowel was not long in ancient inflective forms (PE19/102). Thus the singular is nér but plural neri (MR/213), and likewise for other inflected forms. Nér can be used regardless of species and so is equally applicable to male Elves, Men, or Dwarves, but is unlikely to be used of male animals, for which the word [ᴹQ.] hanu is more applicable.
Conceptual Development: This word was very well established in Tolkien’s mind, appearing as ᴱQ. ner “man, husband” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√NERE (QL/65), though in the contemporaneous Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa it was glossed “warrior, etc.” (PME/65). The long/short vowel variation had emerged by the time the Early Qenya Grammar was written in the 1920s, where Tolkien gave singular nēr but plural nĕri (PE14/43, 72).
The Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s has this same long/short vowel split (PE21/20) as does The Etymologies from later in the 1930s which had ᴹQ. nér with plural neri as derivatives of the root ᴹ√(N)DER (Ety/DER). This remained the case in later writings as well, except that the unstrengthened form of the root changed from ᴹ√DER to √NER (WJ/393), though this only barely matters, since the actual derivatives were all from strengthened √NDER in pretty much all cases from the 1930s forward.
Development Stages Sources ✶nere/nēr > nēr [nēr] ✧ WJ/393
- ner ✧ UT/211
- Ner ✧ UT/229
- nēr ✧ VT49/17; WJ/393
né vb. "was"; see ná #1. Also used as interjection "yes" when the meaning is "it was so, it was as you say/ask" (VT49:31). Pl. nér "were", dual nét (VT49:30). Nésë "he was" (VT49:29), though Tolkien elsewhere stated that né did not "take any inflection of person" (VT49:31), pronominal endings rather being added to ane- (the form anes *he was" is attested). Anda né "long ago" (VT49:31).
né vb. in pa.t. "was"; see ná #1.
**lér noun "man" (NI1; hypothetical Q form of PQ dēr; the form actually used in Quenya was nér)
nét dual vb. "were"; see né and ná #1 (VT49:30).
nercë ("k")noun "little man", a diminutive of nér (VT47:33). VT48:18 seems to hint that -cë is to be derived from older -ki; if so, nercë should have the stem-form nerci-. Compare wenci.
noun. little man
nerkĭ→ nerke ✧ VT47/33
- √N(D)ER “male (person), man” ✧ VT47/33
Development Stages Sources √NER > nerke [nerke] ✧ VT47/33
- nerkĭ ✧ VT47/33 (
- nerke ✧ VT47/33
large, strong man
nerdo noun "large, strong man" (compare nér) (VT47:33)
#ane-, form of copula "was" when pronominal endings follow: anen "I was", anel "you were", anes "(s)he/it was" (VT49:28, 29); see ná #1.
engë vb. "was", "existed", past tense of ëa, q.v. (VT43:38, VT49:29)
nánë vb. "was", náner "were"; see ná #1
-rya 3rd person sg. pronominal ending "his, her" and probably "its" (VT49:16, 38, 48, Nam, RGEO:67), attested in coivierya *"his/her life", máryat "her hands", ómaryo "of her voice" (genitive of *ómarya "her voice"), súmaryassë "in her bosom" (locative of súmarya "her bosom"); for the meaning "his" cf. coarya "his house" (WJ:369). The ending is descended from primitive ¤-sjā via -zya (VT49:17) and therefore connects with the 3rd person ending -s "he, she, it". In colloquial Quenya the ending -rya could be used for "their" rather than "his/her", because it was felt to be related to the plural ending -r,e.g. símaryassen "in their [not his/her] imaginations" (VT49:16, 17). See -ya #4.
ye (2) copula "is" (FS, VT46:22); both earlier and later sources rather point to ná (q.v.) as the copula "is", so ye may have been an experiment Tolkien later abandoned. Future tense yéva, q.v.
-ië (3) "is", -ier "are", stative verb suffix occurring in Fíriel's Song: númessier "they are in the west", meldielto "they are...beloved", talantië "he is fallen", márië "it is good" (< *númessë "in the west", melda "beloved", *talanta "fallen"); future tense -iéva in hostainiéva "will be gathered" (< *hostaina "gathered"). Compare ye "is", yéva "will be", verbs that also occur in Fíriel's Song. This suffix is probably not valid in LotR-style Quenya: -ië is an infinitival or gerundial ending in CO, for ye "is" Namárië has ná, and the phrase "lost is" is vanwa ná, not *vanwië.
ná (1) vb. "is" (am). (Nam, RGEO:67). This is the copula used to join adjectives, nouns or pronouns "in statements (or wishes) asserting (or desiring) a thing to have certain quality, or to be the same as another" (VT49:28). Also in impersonal constructions: ringa ná "it is cold" (VT49:23). The copula may however be omitted "where the meaning is clear" without it (VT49:9). Ná is also used as an interjection "yes" or "it is so" (VT49:28). Short na in airë  na, " is holy" (VT43:14; some subject can evidently be inserted in the place of .) Short na also functions as imperative: alcar mi tarmenel na Erun "glory in high heaven be to God" (VT44:32/34), also na airë "be holy" (VT43:14); also cf. nai "be it that" (see nai #1). The imperative participle á may be prefixed (á na, PE17:58). However, VT49:28 cites ná as the imperative form. Pl. nar or nár "are" (PE15:36, VT49:27, 9, 30); dual nát (VT49:30). With pronominal endings: nányë/nanyë "I am", nalyë or natyë "you (sg.) are" (polite and familiar, respectively), nás "it is", násë "(s)he is", nalmë "we are" (VT49:27, 30). Some forms listed in VT49:27 are perhaps to be taken as representing the aorist: nain, naityë, nailyë (1st person sg, and 2nd person familiar/polite, respectively); does a following na represent the aorist with no pronominal ending? However, the forms nanyë, nalyë, ná, nassë, nalme, nar (changed from nár) are elsewhere said to be "aorist", without the extra vowel i (e.g. nalyë rather than nailyë); also notice that *"(s)he is" is here nassë rather than násë (VT49:30).Pa.t. nánë or né "was", pl. náner/nér and dual nét "were" (VT49:6, 9, 10, 27, 28, 30, 36). According to VT49:31, né "was" cannot receive pronominal endings (though nésë "he was" is attested elsewhere, VT49:28-29), and such endings are rather added to the form ane-, e.g. anen "I was", anel "you were", anes "(s)he/it was" (VT49:28-29). Future tense nauva "will be" (VT42:34, VT49:19, 27; another version however gives the future tense as uva, VT49:30). Nauva with a pronominal ending occurs in tanomë nauvan "I will be there" (VT49:19), this example indicating that forms of the verb ná may also be used to indicate position. Perfect anaië "has been" (VT49:27, first written as anáyë). Infinitive (or gerund) návë "being", PE17:68. See also nai #1.
†vëo noun "man" (WEG; etymologically connected to vëa "manly, vigorous"; the more neutral word for "man" is nér. According to VT46:21, Tolkien indicated that vëo is an archaic or poetic word.) Tolkien at a later point defined the word as "living creature" (PE17:189). Cf. variant wëo, q.v.
verb. to be, to be, [ᴱQ.] exist
nā→ nāner ✧ VT49/09 nār→ năr ✧ VT49/30
- √NĀ “be (the same as another), exist” ✧ PE17/093
- Q. á hyamë rámen úcarindor “pray for us sinners” ✧ VT43/34
- Q. aistana elyë imíca nísi “blessed art thou amongst women” ✧ VT43/30; VT43/30
- Q. alasaila ná lá carë tai mo nave mára “it is unwise not to do what one judges good” ✧ PE22/154; VT42/33
- Q. alcar mi Tarmenel na Erun “glory [be] to God in the highest” ✧ VT44/34; VT44/34
- Q. A (ná) calima lá B “A is brighter than B; (lit.) A is bright beyond B” ✧ PE17/090; PE17/090
- Q. A anamelda na ar ilyan “A is dearest of all” ✧ PE17/057
- Q. A anamelda na epë B “A is dear before B” ✧ PE17/057
- Q. A anamelda na ep’ ilya “A is dearest of all” ✧ PE17/057
A arimelda na epe B“A is (very much) [dearer] than B” ✧ PE17/057 ( A arimelda na epe B)
- Q. A arimelda na ilyaron “A is dearest of all” ✧ PE17/057
- Q. á na márië “be well” ✧ PE17/162
- Q. aranielya na tuluva “thy kingdom come” ✧ VT43/14; VT43/14
- Q. Átaremma i ëa han Eä “our Father who art in Heaven” ✧ VT43/13
- Q. cemendë tambe Erumandë “on Earth as [it is] in Heaven” ✧ VT43/16
- Q. cé tulis, ní nauva tanomë “*if he/she comes, I will be there” ✧ VT49/19
- Q. cé tulis, tanomë nauvan “*if he/she comes, I will be there” ✧ VT49/19
- Q. eldar ataformaiti “the Elves were ambidexters” ✧ VT49/09; VT49/09; VT49/09; VT49/09
- Q. essë úpa nas “he is dumb” ✧ PE17/126
- Q. i Héru aselyë “the Lord is with thee” ✧ VT43/30
- Q. lá carita i hamil mára alasaila ná “not to do (in this case) what you judge good (would be) unwise” ✧ PE22/154; VT42/33
- Q. lá caritas alasaila cé nauva “not doing this may be/prove unwise” ✧ PE22/154; VT42/34
- Q. lá caritas, navin, alasaila ná “not doing this would be (I think) unwise” ✧ PE22/154; VT42/33
- Q. násië “but deliver us from evil: Amen” ✧ VT43/23
- Q. mára ná “it is good” ✧ PE17/093
- Q. ná “yes, it is so, it is a fact”
- Q. na airë esselya “hallowed be thy name” ✧ VT43/14
- Q. na carë indómelya “thy will be done” ✧ VT43/15
- Q. nai “maybe; be it that, may it be that; perhaps, it may be, there is a chance or possibility, maybe; be it that, may it be that; perhaps, it may be, there is a chance or possibility; [ᴱQ.] remoter possibility” ✧ RGEO/60; VT49/28
- Q. naitë “true” ✧ VT49/28
- ᴺQ. nalumë “sometime(s)”
- Q. namárië “farewell, (lit.) be well, let it be well (to you)” ✧ PE17/058; PE17/059; PE17/059; PE17/074
- Q. námo “person, somebody (unnamed)”
- Q. náner ataformaitë ve fírimor quetir “*were ambidextrous as mortals say” ✧ VT49/10
- ᴺQ. nanomë “someplace, somewhere”
- Q. nanwa “existing, actual (true), existing, actual (true), *real; [️ᴱQ.] being” ✧ VT49/30
- Q. nár (naitië) “they are (indeed = truly)” ✧ PE22/166
- Q. násië “*amen, (lit.) may it be so”
- Q. násan “*amen, (lit.) may it be so”
- Q. nás mára nin “I like it” ✧ VT49/30
- Q. nassë “nature, true-being, *essence; person, individual” ✧ VT49/30
- Q. návë “being”
- Q. nésë nórima rocco “he was a horse strong/swift at running” ✧ VT49/29
- Q. quí(ta) la tuldes, nánë márië (nin) “[if he had not come], it was well to me (I was glad)” ✧ PE22/158
- Q. roccor i Erulingaron márë nár (ma naitë)? “the horses of the Rohirrim are good (are they not, lit. is it true)” ✧ PE22/166
- Q. savin Elessar ar i nánë aran Ondórëo “I believe that E[lessar] really existed and that he was a King of Gondor” ✧ PE22/158; VT49/27
- Q. sínen i·anda nyarnë metta ar taina andaurenya na quanta “*with this the long tale ends and my extended long day is complete” ✧ Minor-Doc/1955-CT
- Q. sí vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar! “now lost, lost to those from the east is Valimar!” ✧ LotR/0377; RGEO/58
- Q. sí vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar! “now lost is, [to one] from the East lost, Valimar!” ✧ RGEO/59
- Q. umbë nin i hríve nauva urra (si loa) “I have a feeling that winter will be bad (this year)” ✧ PE22/168
- Q. yá hríve menë, ringa ná “when winter comes/arrives/is with us, it is cold” ✧ VT49/23 (
yá hríve tene, ringa ná)
- ᴺQ. yonávë “company, *companionship, camaraderie”
Development Stages Sources √NĀ > ná [nā] ✧ PE17/093
- ná ✧ LotR/0377; PE17/090; PE17/093; PE22/154; PE22/167; VT42/33; VT49/09; VT49/23
- na ✧ Minor-Doc/1955-CT; PE17/057; PE17/074; PE17/074; PE17/090; PE17/162; VT43/13; VT43/30
- nā ✧ PE17/058; RGEO/59; VT49/09 (
nā); VT49/28; VT49/30
- nā- ✧ PE22/166; VT49/27; VT49/28 (nā-)
- nā̀ ✧ RGEO/58
- Nā ✧ RGEO/60
- nā̆ ✧ VT49/30
- nār ✧ VT49/30 (
úra (2) adj. "large" (UR), probably obsoleted by #1 above
úyë vb., a form occurring in Fíriel's Song (cf. VT46:22), apparently ye "is" with the negative prefix ú-, hence "is not" (úyë sérë indo-ninya símen, translated "my hearth resteth not here", literally evidently *"[there] is not rest [for] my heart here")
his, her, its
-zya, archaic form of the pronominal ending -rya "his, her, its", q.v. (VT49:17)
-úmë (3) suffix "large" (of quantity)", as in liyúmë "host" (VT48:32)
large, big (strong)
pol (2) adj. "large, big (strong)". Since this would be the sole example of a monosyllabic Quenya adjective, it may be that Tolkien is here citing the root POL rather than a complete word. Cf. polda.
large, great in size
alat- prefix "large, great in size". (ÁLAT, cf. VT45:5). In Alatairë.
large, great in size
alta (1) adj. *"large, great in size" (root meaning)(ÁLAT). Alat- in Alatairë, q.v.
-ya (4) pronominal suffix "his" (and probably also "her, its"), said to be used in "colloquial Quenya" (which had redefined the "correct" ending for this meaning, -rya, to mean "their" because it was associated with the plural ending -r). Hence e.g. cambeya ("k") "his hand", yulmaya "his cup" (VT49:17) instead of formally "correct" forms in -rya. The ending -ya was actually ancient, primitive ¤-jā being used for "all numbers" in the 3rd person, predating elaborated forms like -rya. It is said that -ya "remained in Quenya" in the case of "old nouns with consonantal stems", Tolkien listing tál "foot", cas "head", nér "man", sír "river" and macil "sword" as examples. He refers to "the continued existence of such forms as talya his foot", that could apparently be used even in "correct" Quenya (VT49:17). In PE17:130, the forms talya "his foot" and macilya ("k") "his (or their) sword" are mentioned.