< Neo-Quenya

Quenya has 2 cases that together form the traditional genitive case of an inflected language (e.g. Latin, German or Greek): the genitive and the possessive.

So it is important to know when each is appropriate.


There is quite an extensive list of situations in which the genitive is used:

1. origin

The place where something is made or someone is born is in the genitive:

cirya Tiriono "the ship of Tirion"
seldo Alqualondëo "the boy from Swanhaven"

It has no implication of movement, so the boy was born in Swanhaven but we don't mean that he just arrived from Swanhaven.

2. previous owner

rocco arano "the horse of a king"

This means that the horse once belonged to the king, but now belongs to someone else.

3. partitive genitive

We use this to denote something that is part of something greater:

i elenion ancalima "the brightest of the stars"
ranqui i arano "the arms of the king"

4. family relations

i arano yondor "the sons of the king"
indis ohtaro "the bride of a soldier"

5. where a title belongs to

aran Sindaron "the king of the Sindar"
heru i cormaron "the lord of the rings"

6. nouns after "about"

equessi arano "the sayings about the king"

Frequently the preposition "about" is replaced by "of" in English, so we have to be careful about the meaning of this "of":

i naucor quetir altë harmaron "the dwarves speak of (about) great treasures"
quenta Silmarillion "the tale of (about) the Silmarils"
quentalë Noldoron "the history of (about) the Noldor"

(for more about this see also Verbal nouns)

7. composite names of plants or animals

asëa aranion "kings' weed"

8. the word following quanta "full"

quanta masso "full of bread"

9. the prepositions ú "without" and the adjective arwa "with, having"

ú calo "without light"
aran arwa ohtarion "a king with/having soldiers"

The adjective arwa has arwë as plural, this is used when there is more than one owner:

neri arwë collo "men with/having a mantle"

Word orderEdit

The genitive can be placed in front or behind the noun to which it belongs:

i nórëo aldar "trees of the land"
aldar i nórëo "trees of the land"

There are 2 cases in which the genitive is always put in front:

  • when the noun is preceded by a preposition:
ve osto aran "like the king of a city"
nu tirino tópa "under the roof of a tower"
  • when the noun has both a word in the genitive and in the possessive case:
i eldaron macil atarwa "father's sword of (coming from) the elves"

A genitive can also be used predicatively:

i corma ná Saurondo "the ring is (originally) Sauron's"

Use of the articleEdit

A noun that is accompanied by a noun in the genitive case normally shouldn't get the article i (however the article is sometimes written for poetic reasons).

So we have to take into account that a noun in the genitive can be translated with either an indefinite or a definite article:

indis ohtaro "a bride of a soldier"/"the bride of a soldier"
ohtaro indis "a bride of a soldier"/"the bride of a soldier"
i ohtaro indis "a bride of the soldier"/"the bride of the soldier"
indis i ohtaro "a bride of the soldier"/"the bride of the soldier"


We discuss each of the numbers separately:


The basic ending is -o.

Most words simply add this ending:

aran "king" → arano
tári "queen" → tário
vendë "girl" → vendëo

Words that have a stem-form use this stem-form:

nís "woman" → nisso (stem-form niss-)
curo "device" → curuo (stem-form curu-)
lómë "night" → lómio (stem-form lómi-)

Words on -o have a genitive singular that is identical to the nominative singular:

rocco "horse" → rocco

In words on -a this final letter is replaced by -o:

máma "sheep" → mámo

Words on - lengthen the final -ë:

mornië "darkness" → morniéo
lië "people" → liéo


The plural adds -on to the nominative plural (this is exceptional as all other cases of the plural are based upon the nominative singular):

aldar "trees" → aldaron (nom.sing.: alda)
eleni "stars" → elenion (nom.sing.: elen)
rávi "lions" → rávion (nom.sing.: rá)
nissi "women" → nission (nom.sing.: nís)

Words on - lengthen the final -ë:

mornië "darkness" → morniéron
lië "people" → liéron


In the dual the ending is also -o:

ciryat "a pair of ships" → ciryato (nom.sing.: cirya)
aldu "a pair of trees" → alduo (nom.sing.: alda)
rávet "a pair of lions" → ráveto (nom.sing.: rá)

When the noun has a t-dual and the nominative singular ends in a vowel followed by a consonant (-l, -n, -r, -s), the -e- of the nominative dual disappears in the genitive dual:

aranet "a pair of kings" → aranto (nom.sing.: aran)
macilet "a pair of swords" → macilto (nom.sing.: macil)
ëaret "a pair of seas" → ëarto (nom.sing.: ëar)

Words on - lengthen the final -ë:

mornië "darkness" → morniéto
lië "people" → liéto

Partitive PluralEdit

We always add -on to the nominative partitive plural:

ciryali "some ships" → ciryalion (nom.sing.: cirya)

>> Neo-Quenya >> Nouns >> Genitive