This tense is formed in the following way:
- repeat the central vowel of the verb and put it in front of it
- lengthen the central vowel, if possible
- add the ending -ië (-ier in the plural)
So we find e.g.
- mat- "eat" → amátië
- tec- "write" → etécië
- not- "count" → onótië
The A-verbs and U-verbs lose their final vowel before adding -ië:
- mapa- "take" → amápië
- palu- "spread" → apálië
verbs with long central syllable
Verbs with a central vowel that cannot be lengthened are divided into three types:
- When the stem ends in a consonant-cluster, we cannot lengthen the central vowel, but otherwise the basic rule is followed:
- nasta- "prick" → anastië
- nurru- "grumble" → unurrië
However, menta- and fanta- have attested perfect eménië and afánië, while orta- and henta- have ortanie and ehentanie.
- When the central vowel is long, we put a short version of this vowel in front of the stem:
- móta- "labour" → omótië
- When the central vowel is a diphthong, we add the first vowel of the diphthong:
- hauta- "stop" → ahautië
- poita- "cleanse" → opoitië
- vaita- "wrap" → avaitië
- suila- "greet" → usuilië
- tiuta- "fatten" → itiutië
verbs starting in a vowel
When the verb starts in a vowel, we don't add an extra vowel to the beginning of the stem:
- anta- "give" → ánië
- allu- "wash" → allië
- ulqua- "rend" → ulquië
- ita- "sparkle" → ítië
verbs with a prefix
Some verbs are formed by placing a prefix before another verb, in this case we first form the perfect tense of the original verb and then we put the prefix again in front:
- enyal- "recall" → en + ayálië → enayálië
verbs on -ya
Verbs on -ya lose both these letters:
- hanya- "understand" → ahánië
- tulya- "lead" → utúlië
Some ancient verbs end on a diphtong followed by -tya, they probably follow the same rule as the others:
- paitya- "repay" → apaitië
Some verbs have a vowel before the ending -ya. Possibly the perfect can be formed by the insertion of an -n- between the stem and the ending:
- aya- "honour" → ánië
- laya- "flourish" → alánië
- naya- "grieve" → anánië
- paya- "punish" → apánië
- vaya- "enfold" → avánië
- oya- "salve, rub" → ónië
- loya- "be thirsty" → olónië
- séya- "appear, seem" → esénië
- súya- "breathe" → esúnië
- ahya- "change": as is mentioned on the page about Quenya/Phonology, the combination hy has to be seen as a unit, so the perfect tense is probably ahyánië
Some verbs can be conjugated by using an ancient stem and don't need an extra n:
- feuya- "abhor" → efévië (ancient stem phew)
- mauya- "compel" → ambávië (ancient stem mbaw, see also below: historical influences)
- tiuya- "swell" → itíwië (ancient stem tiw)
The verb tuia- comes from the ancient stem tuy, so the perfect tense would also need n:
- tuia- "sprout" → utúnië
Historical influences on the perfect tense
Most likely certain verbs undergo historical influences. The problem can be found in the prefixed vowel. Quite a few letters are allowed in the middle of a word but not in the beginning, so they have evolved differently in the perfect tense.
In most verbs there is no problem because they begin in a letter that is allowed in both places: tul- "come" has utúlië "has come" as perfect tense. In Old-Elvish this verb was tul and there is no problem here because t is allowed at the beginning of a word (note: the Passive infinitive shows the same irregularities as a prefixed a- has the same effect).
Verbs in d
Take now the Old-Elvish verbs dant "fall" and dab "allow". The letter d is no longer a separate letter in Neo-Quenya, neither in the beginning nor in the middle of a word. In the evolution a d in the beginning of a word changed into an l and in the middle of a word it changed into r.
So these verbs evolved into the Quenya verbs lanta- "fall" and lav- "allow" (the b changed into v but here there is no problem as this letter never appears at the end of a word).
But in the perfect tense the d changed into r:
- lanta- "fall" → arantië
If we apply this to lav- we get a nice consequence: Old-Elvish also had a verb lab "lick". In Quenya this verb also evolved into lav-, but their perfect tenses have remained different:
- lav- "allow" → arávië
- lav- "lick" → alávië
Verbs in mb/nd/ng
These verbs are however not the only ones, in Old-Elvish we had verbs that began with the consonant clusters mb-, nd- or ng-. In Quenya these are no longer allowed in the beginning of a word, but in the middle of words they are still allowed.
The verbs namba- "hammer" and núta- "set (of sun and moon)" have evolved from the Old-Elvish stems ndam and ndú. So in the perfect tense we find:
- namba- "hammer" → andambië
- núta- "set" → undútië
The next verbs had originally a stem beginning with mb-: mar- "dwell" (mbar), manca- "trade" (mbakh), martya- "destine" (mbarat) and masta- "bake" (mbas). So we find following perfect tenses:
- mar- "dwell" → ambárië
- manca- "trade" → ambancië
- martya- "destine" → ambartië
- masta- "bake" → ambastië
The verbs beginning with ng- can in Tengwar script still be recognized as they are even now written with the Tengwa ñoldo or ngoldo (Tengwa 19). In pronunciation there is no difference between ñoldo and the normal n (númen).
At the moment we know two verbs in this category: nol- "smell" (ngol) and nanda- "harp" (nganad):
- nol- "smell" → ongólië
- nanda- "harp" → angandië
Verbs in h
Verbs beginning with h- can show the same problems because this h can have evolved from both kh- and sk-. This last combination gives in Neo-Quenya the letter h at the beginning of a word and an x in the middle of a word.
Here we have following verbs: halya- "hide" (skal), harna- "wound" (skar), hat- "split" (skat) and helta- "undress" (skel) and following perfect tenses:
- halya- "hide" → axálië
- harna- "wound" → axarnië
- hat- "split" → axátië
- helta- "undress" → exeltië
When this starting h appears in the combinations hy-, hl- or hr- then we find following forms (at this moment no verbs in hr- are known):
- hyar- "cleave" → aryárië
- hlar- "hear" → allárië
In the combination hw- the changes are like these:
- hwesta- "breathe" → eswestië
- hwinya- "swirl" → iswínië
Verbs in s
The final irregularity is found with verbs starting in s. This s can either be a pure s (Tengwa 29 silmë) or have evolved from th (Tengwa 9 súlë).
In Old-Elvish the pure s was the letter z. In the beginning of a word this z became s, but in the middle it changed into r.
Words with súlë however are not influenced (they are still written with súlë even in modern Neo-Quenya Tengwar).
- salpa- "sip" → aralpië
- ser- "rest" → erérië
- sil- "shine" → irílië
- sir- "flow" → irírië
- suc- "drink" → urúcië
However, the attested perfect tense of sirya- is isírië.