So, I know that -ne is an enclitic to express a yes/no question.

But, the "Ne", as a non-enclitic, as I understood it, could also be a word question.

In "Ne....annon" or "Ne....necne"

Meaning Is it.... or no? (French "Est-ce que" would express it better)

  • Is it the same "ne" and when you use it in conjonction with "annon" and "necne" it becomes a separated (non-enclitic) word?

  • From what: Could I use the enclitic "-ne" in conjonction with "annon" or "necne"?

  • And could I use the interrogative non-enclitic "Ne..." alone?

  • How "Ne..." is different from "-ne...."?

(All these questions can have the same answer).

  • 2
    Can you provide an actual, attested example of non-enclitic ne used as a question word in a direct question? It's true that enclitic -ne can be used with annon/necne in indirect questions to mean 'whether...or not,' but I've never seen the usage that you're describing. Still ne might be paired with quidem, and the whole sentence might just happen to be a direct question; but in that case, ne isn't an interrogative word.
    – cnread
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 17:17

1 Answer 1


Well, to start with, they aren't actually the same "word", as they have a different vowel. The e in -ne is short whilst the e in ne is long. Also, the non-enclitic ne is not primarily an interrogative word at all but a subordinating conjunction that introduces negative clauses that would be introduced by ut if not negative (though the other way around with verbs of fear). In many situations its best English translation is lest.

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