Quenya 


prefix. bad, uneasy, hard

Quenya [PE 22:160] Group: Mellonath Daeron. Published by


verb. not-, un-, in-

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


  • UG “dislike” ✧ PE22/160
  • Ū “denial of fact, privation, negative element, denial of fact, privation, negative element, [ᴱ√] not” ✧ VT42/33

Element in

  • 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. úcar- “*to trespass, do wrong, sin”
  • 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”

Phonetic Developments

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-)
Quenya [PE17/062; PE17/063; PE17/143; PE17/144; PE17/150; PE22/152; PE22/156; PE22/160; PE22/167; UT/211; VT39/14; VT42/33; VT44/04; VT49/15; VT49/18] Group: Eldamo. Published by


verb. hu-

[hu- or -, 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


ú-“no, not, un-, in-; hard, difficult, bad, uneasy; hardly, with difficulty, ‘badly’”


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 , which is rather used to reject orders, or to issue negative orders). (VT49:28) Compare uito.


suffix. is

- (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: - is an infinitival or gerundial ending in CO, for ye "is" Namárië has , 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.


adjective. bad


  • uncaurra “bad” ✧ PE22/168


  • UG “dislike”

Element in


  • unca ✧ PE22/168 (unca)


the beautiful

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).


the beautiful

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".


not enough

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 , -la "not" to express a prohibition (VT43:22; see #1). Also with 1st person suffix -lyë (alalyë and álalyë, VT43:10, 22, VT44:8) and 1st person pl. object suffix - (alamë and álamë, "do not [do something to] us", as in ála 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.


no, not

la negation "no, not" (see ); also prefix la- as in lacarë, q.v. (VT45:25)


adjective. impossible

Quenya [PE 22:156] Group: Mellonath Daeron. Published by


adjective. impossible, *inactive; impossible


  • alákăraitelắkăraite “impossible” ✧ PE22/156


la-“not, in-, un-”
caraitë“active, busy, active, busy; [ᴹQ.] able to make, handy, crafty, craftsmanlike, skilled”


  • lắkăraite ✧ PE22/156
  • alákăraite ✧ PE22/156 (alákăraite)

no, not

(1) adv. "no, not" (LA, VT45:25) According to VT42:33, is the stressed form, alternating with la when the negation is unstressed. In another conceptual phase of Tolkien's, had the opposite meaning "yes" (VT42:32-33), but this idea is contradicted by both earlier and later material: usually 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 *"I love him but I do not [love] him" (another person) (VT49:15). Present tense laia, past lánë, perfect alaië, future lauva.


(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). 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 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, , 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 "was", pl. náner/nér and dual nét "were" (VT49:6, 9, 10, 27, 28, 30, 36). According to VT49:31, "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 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 (q.v.) as the copula "is", so ye may have been an experiment Tolkien later abandoned. Future tense yéva, q.v.