(Superlative comes in a separate exercise as soon as possible)
In Quenya the comparative can be formed by expressing either that the quality of A
the quality of B
, or that the quality of A
the quality of B
. In both cases, it is clear that A has a greater quality of whatever adjective is mentioned than B.
Expressing a comparative by replacing it with such forms is common in real world languages. In English, related words of “before” are “ahead, in the lead, leading, in front” and idioms with these words are synonym with a comparative: He ran ahead of me = He was faster than me. Beyond means superior to, surpassing, above: he is wise beyond others. In Fench e.g. this is expressed exactly in the same way: one can “dévancer” (be ahead) or “surpasser” (exceed, go beyond) something or someone in quality.
Tolkien has made use of both forms by employing:epe
which means “before” in all relations but time and lá
which means “beyond”.
Both comparisons are exemplified in PE17
In addition, a comparison can of course be expressed in various degrees: A is brighter than B.:
A calima ná lá B. = A is bright beyond B.
A calima ná epe B. = A is bright before B. A is much brighter than B.
A ancalima ná lá B. = A is very bright beyond B.
A ancalima ná epe B. = A is very bright before B.A is far and away brighter than B.
A arcalima ná lá B. = A is far and away brighter beyond B.
The example of “ari-“ is followed by a note in PE17, that “epe” is not used with “ari-“. I shall therefore only use “beyond” for the highest degree of comparison.
For the adjective “good” mára,
the higher degree “better” is arya
. “The best” i arya
is used in superlatives with the genitive.
Here are a few exercices:Translate into English
Oron tára ná lá ambo.
Gandalf arisaila ná lá Saruman.
Míre sina anamirwa lá míre tana.
Carrea Arwenwa mírya ná epe carrear exe.
Anar aricalima ná lá Isil.
Rámar soronion ande nár epe i rámar lómelindion.
I yávi orofarnion amminti (anaminti) nár lá i yávi exe aldaron.
Anga torna ná epe malta.
Uscare úvanima ná epe loicare.
Yén arianda ná lá coranar.Translate into Quenya by using either “epe” or “lá”:
Spring is greener than autumn.
The song of the singing bird is far and away more melodious than the song of the crow.
The Elf is much faster than the Dwarf.
Snow on the snow peak is purer than snow on the street.
A brook in spring is fuller than a brook in winter.
Vegetables are better than meat. (no proselytism intended
A house is much stronger than a shelter.
This work of art is more beautiful than that work.
This smith is more clever-fingered than his neighbour.