In LLPSI, there is this line:

Ubi est Nilus? Nilus in Africa est. Rhenus ubi est? Rhenus est in Germania.

In both questions, the wording changed around, as did in the answers. Does this wording matter? If so, when and how would I use each?

  • I remember reading somewhere that the rhetoricians preferred some rhythms at the end of paragraphs. E.g.Dactyls (Dum -diddy) were good. Germania has a good cadence.
    – Hugh
    Mar 31, 2020 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


Both orders are correct; in general, Latin word order is very flexible. But there is some difference in terms of information structure and pragmatics. Placing Rhenus first in the second sentence has the effect of marking it as a new topic for this sentence. You could capture this in English by saying, "As for the Rhine, where is that?"

It's harder to say whether the different positions of est make any difference -- copulas tend to float around in the Latin sentence more freely than other verbs. Maybe this is just for the sake of variation.

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