The Quenya future tense refers to events occurring in the future: i nér matuva, matuvan “the man will eat, I will eat”. The English future tense uses a helping verb “will”, but the Quenya future tense has its own conjugation, with the suffix -uva.
In the Quenya Verbal System (QVS) of the late 1940s, Tolkien described a “long perfect” that developed along the same lines as the Quenya pluperfect (past perfect):
A weak “pluperfect” was made in Quenya, by adding to the perfect participle the past-suffix -nḗ. So karnelyane “I was having made = I had made”; túlielyane “I had come”, lasselyane “I had heard”, etc.
The perfect tense in Quenya indicates an action that has been completed before the present time. In English, the perfect tense is usually expressed with an auxiliary verb “has” or “have”, as in (past) “ate” vs. (perfect) “has eaten” from the verb “to eat”. In Quenya, the perfect tense has its own verbal conjugation: past mante vs. perfect amátie from the verb mat- “to make, do” (PE17/13): i nér amátie, amátien “the man has eaten, I have eaten”.
And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and He brought them to the man to see what he would name each one. And whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field.
I tolquea, neterquea, ar yuquain minya ré Súlimeo *maisinwe nar mí Mayar *auronótie. Nante i ré Sándor (Alexander), József (Joseph), ar Benedek (Benedictus), ar Mayaron úme tensi istar i yára *lienolwea eques "Sándor, József, Benedek, zsákban hozzák a meleget": Sándor, József, Benedek kolir áre pokosse, ya tea i epe hríve koirea áre senyave entule i arinye auressen Súlimeo (*amnúra naite nése nó i ilúvea laukatáre).
The Quenya past tense is, like in most languages, used to refer to events occurring in the past: i nér mante, manten “the man ate, I ate”. Of all the Quenya tenses, the past is the most complex in its formation.
Origins of the Past Tense: The Quenya past tense originated from two competing ancient patterns: (1) nasal infixion (mat- → mantē) and (2) the past tense suffix -nē (kar- → karnē). Tolkien described these ancient past forms in numerous places: