The Article

Quenya has a definite article i = "the", e.g. i eleni "the stars" in Namárië. There is no indefinite article like English "a, an"; the absence of the article i usually indicates that the noun is indefinite: Elen "star" must be translated "a star" when English grammar requires an article, as in the famous greeting Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo "a star shines at the hour of our meeting" (LotR1/I ch. 3). But sometimes Tolkien's translations introduce a "the" where there is no i in the original, cf. the first line of Namárië: Ai! laurië lantar lassi... "Ah! like gold fall the leaves..." rather than just "(some) leaves".

©Helge Fauskanger