ú- (2) prefix "not-, un-, in-", denying presence or possession of thing or quality (VT39:14, UGU/UMU/VT46:20, GŪ, LT1:272), or simply suggesting something bad or immoral (see #úcar-, Úmaiar). Tolkien at one point considered redefining ú- as an element signifying "bad, uneasy, hard"; the already-published form únótima would then mean "difficult/impossible to count" rather than simply "uncountable" (VT42:33). However, Tolkien's very last word on the matter seems to be that ú- was to remain a mere negative (VT44:4). Compare úa, q.v. According to the Etymologies, the prefix ú- usually has a "bad sense", whereas according to early material u- (uv-, um-, un-) is a "mere negation" (UGU/UMU vs. VT42:32) According to a later source, ú- could be used as an uninflected verbal prefix, mainly in verse, but in a normal style the prefix was "verbalized" as ua-, q.v. (PE17:144). The stem Ū, as a negation, was accompanied by "pursed lips and shaking of the head" (PE17:145).
prefix. no, not, un-, in-; hard, difficult, bad, uneasy; hardly, with difficulty, ‘badly’
- S. ú- “no, not, negative; impossible, no, not, negative; impossible; [N.] bad-” ✧ PE17/062
- ᴺQ. úpuhta- “to fornicate”
- ᴺQ. úhep- “to lose, (lit.) to un-keep”
- ᴺQ. únet- “to lose, (lit.) to un-get”
- Q. úcalima “dim, murky, dim, murky, *not bright” ✧ PE22/156
- Q. úcarë “*sin, debt, trespass”
- Q. úcárima “hard to do, difficult” ✧ PE22/156
- Q. úcarnë “not red” ✧ PE22/152
- ᴺQ. úcim- “disregard”
- ᴺQ. úfailië “unrighteousness”
- Q. úfantima “not concealable”
- Q. úfanwëa “not veiled, unveiled”
- ᴺQ. úhandë “unreason, incomprehension”
- Q. úχarin “unmarred” ✧ PE17/150
- Q. Úlairi “Ring-wraiths, (lit.) ?Un-living, Un-summer”
- ᴺQ. úlaita- “to dishonour”
- ᴺQ. úlévima “paralyzed, lame”
- Q. Úmaiar “Evil Spirits”
- Q. úmaitë “clumsy(-handed), unskilled”
- Q. Úmaneldi “*Elves not of Aman”
- Q. Úmanyar “Those not of Aman”
- Q. úmara “bad, ill-used, evil, sinister” ✧ VT49/15
- Q. úmárë “not good = evil” ✧ PE22/152
- Q. únat “thing impossible to be or to be done”
- Q. únehta “*atom”
- Q. Úner “Noman” ✧ UT/211
- Q. únotë(a) “not counted, uncounted” ✧ PE17/143; VT39/14
- Q. únótima “numberless, innumerable, countless, difficult/impossible to count” ✧ PE17/062; PE17/063; PE17/143; PE22/156; PE22/160; VT39/14; VT42/33
- ᴺQ. únut- “to untie”
- Q. únyárima “impossible to recount”
- Q. úpa “dumb [unable to speak]”
- Q. úpahtëa “speechless”
- ᴺQ. úpoica “unclean”
- ᴺQ. úqua “nothing”
- ᴺQ. úquen “nobody, no one”
- Q. úquétima “unspeakable, impossible to say or put into words, unpronounceable”
- Q. úsahtië “inducement to do wrong, *temptation”
- Q. úsië “on the contrary” ✧ VT49/18
- Q. úsir “on the contrary” ✧ VT49/18
- ᴺQ. útancië “uncertainty”
- ᴺQ. útulya- “to mislead”
- ᴺQ. útúrima “unruly”
- Q. úvana “marred”
- Q. úvanë(a) “without beauty”
- Q. úvanima “not fair, ugly; hard to call beautiful, hideous” ✧ PE17/143; PE22/156; VT39/14
- Q. úvanimo “monster, corrupt or evil creature”
Development Stages Sources √UG > ú [ugu-] > [uɣu-] > [ū-] ✧ PE22/160 √û > ú [ū-] ✧ VT42/33
- ū- ✧ PE17/062; PE17/144; PE22/152; PE22/156
- ū ✧ PE22/156; PE22/167; VT44/04
- ú ✧ PE22/160; VT42/33
- Ú- ✧ UT/211 (Ú-)
prefix. bad, uneasy, hard
verb. not-, un-, in-
[hu- or hú-, negative prefix (VT45:17); Tolkien settled on ú- instead.]
do not thou lead us
úa, with 1st person suffix úalyë, imperative particle á, a combined with the negation ú- to express a prohibition (úalyë mittanya me, *"do not thou lead us", VT43:9, 21-22). However, Tolkien apparently abandoned úa in favour of ala, alalyë, q.v. (later he also used the form áva for "don't"). Compare ua.
to sin, trespass; to do wrong
#úcar- vb. "to sin, trespass; to do wrong" (pl. aorist úcarer in VT43:12, we would rather expect úcarir, a form seemingly indicated by an emendation in one variant of the text in question, VT43:21). The verb is car- "do" with the prefix ú-, here suggesting something morally bad ("do wrong") rather than simple negation.
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")
thing impossible to be or to be done
únat noun "a thing impossible to be or to be done" (VT39:26) Cf. ú- and nat.
noun. thing impossible to be or to be done
Word Gloss ú- “no, not, un-, in-; hard, difficult, bad, uneasy; hardly, with difficulty, ‘badly’” nat “thing”
not for ever
ullumë adv.? a word occurring in Fíriel's Song, evidently meaning "not for ever". Cf. ú-, lúmë and úlumë.
verb. no, *un-
il- (prefix) "no, *un-" (LA); cf. ilfirin "immortal" (vs. firin "dead"). This prefix "denotes the opposite, the reversal, i.e. more than the mere negation" (VT42:32). But il- can also mean "all, every"; see ilaurëa, ilqua, ilquen.
ui interjection "no" (originally an endingless negative verb in the 3rd person aorist: "it is not [so]"; see #u-). Apparently this is the word for "no" used to deny that something is true (compare vá, which is rather used to reject orders, or to issue negative orders). (VT49:28) Compare uito.
-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.
ala- (2) negative prefix "not", "un-", reduced to al- before a vowel (VT42:33, GALA, VT45:25), though the example Alcorin would suggest that al- can sometimes appear before a consonant as well. In a deleted entry in Etym, al(a)- was defined as "not" and said to be a "pure negative" (VT45:5). In alahasta, Alamanyar, alasaila, Alcorin.
unca→ urra “bad” ✧ PE22/168
- √UG “dislike”
- Q. umbë nin i hríve nauva urra (si loa) “I have a feeling that winter will be bad (this year)” ✧ PE22/168
- unca ✧ PE22/168 (
Maia pl. Maiar noun "the Beautiful" (MR:49), the lesser (= non-Vala) Ainur that entered Eä. Variant Máya in VT42:13/VT47:18, pl. Máyar in PM:363, 364 and VT47:18 (possibly, Máya is to be understood as the older form of Maia). With negative prefix ú- also Úmaiar, Maiar who became evil and followed Melkor, such as Balrogs (MR:79, "Umaiar", MR:165).
Vanimo (pl. Vanimor given), noun "the beautiful", children of the Valar (BAN), or "fair folk" = (men and) elves (UGU/UMU, VT45:17). Negated úvanimor = "monsters".
ufárëa adj. "not enough" (FS). Cf. ú- "un-" and fárëa "enough, sufficient" (read *úfárëa?)
ala, #ála (1) imperative particle á, a combined with the negation lá, -la "not" to express a prohibition (VT43:22; see lá #1). Also with 1st person suffix -lyë (alalyë and álalyë, VT43:10, 22, VT44:8) and 1st person pl. object suffix -më (alamë and álamë, "do not [do something to] us", as in álamë tulya, "do not lead us", VT43:12, 22). In the essay Quendi and Eldar, negative imperatives are rather indicated by áva, q.v., but this form can well coexist with ala, #ála.
la negation "no, not" (see lá); also prefix la- as in lacarë, q.v. (VT45:25)
adjective. impossible, *inactive; impossible
alákăraite→ lắkăraite “impossible” ✧ PE22/156
Word Gloss la- “not, in-, un-” caraitë “active, busy, active, busy; [ᴹQ.] able to make, handy, crafty, craftsmanlike, skilled”
- lắkăraite ✧ PE22/156
- alákăraite ✧ PE22/156 (
lá (1) adv. "no, not" (LA, VT45:25) According to VT42:33, lá is the stressed form, alternating with la when the negation is unstressed. In another conceptual phase of Tolkien's, lá had the opposite meaning "yes" (VT42:32-33), but this idea is contradicted by both earlier and later material: usually lá is conceived as a negation. The negation can receive tense markers and be used as a negative verb "when [another] verb is not expressed" (VT49:13), apparently where the phrase "is not" is followed by a noun or an adjective as a predicate, or where some verb is understood, as in English "I do not" (i.e. "I do not do whatever the context indicates"). With pronominal endings la- in the aorist, e.g. lanyë "I do not, am not" (etc.) (Tolkien abandoned the form lamin.) Exemplified in the sentence melin sé apa lanyë hé *"I love him but I do not [love] him" (another person) (VT49:15). Present tense laia, past lánë, perfect alaië, future lauva.
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.
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.