Enclitic -que generally means "and" in Latin.

It's quite common to see -que paired with the interrogative pronoun quis/quid (as well as other pronouns like it, e.g. the relative pronouns qui/quae/quod), but this generally changes the meaning. See, for instance, Allen & Greenough §151(g):

The enclitic particle -que added to the interrogative gives a universal

  • quisque every one
  • uterque each of two, or both.

My question: Are there any cases where -que paired with an interrogative pronoun keeps its usual sense of "and"? Could I say, for instance:

Quis es quidque facis?


Who are you and what are you doing?


1 Answer 1


"Quidque velit" seems to mean "et quid velit" in this line from Ovid:

Quos omnes acie postquam Saturnia torva
vidit et ante omnes Ixiona, rursus ab illo
Sisyphon adspiciens “cur hic e fratribus” inquit
“perpetuas patitur poenas, Athamanta superbum
regia dives habet, qui me cum coniuge semper
sprevit?” et exponit causas odiique viaeque,
quidque velit: quod vellet, erat, ne regia Cadmi
staret, et in facinus traherent Athamanta sorores.

Also quidque in Digesta Iustiniani 48.19.6.pr.6:

inquirunt, quid sit, quod allegare principi uelint, quidque quod pro salute ipsius habeant dicere, post quae aut sustinent poenam aut non sustinent.

Actually, I found it difficult to find clear and unambiguous examples. (I think questions with multiple question words (of any form) are fairly rare in Latin, as they are in English, so that could partly explain why it is hard to find examples.) But in general, it is possible for -que to be used as a coordinating conjunction even in cases where it creates homophony with another word ending in -que. So I think "Quis es quidque facis?" could be used with the sense "Who are you and what are you doing?"

When attached to a relative pronoun, -que just has its normal usual sense of "and", e.g.

nam quanti refert te ei nec recte dicere
qui nihili faciat quique infitias non eat? = [et qui infitias non eat?]

(Plautus, Pseudolus 1086)

praedicationem non me praeterit, si, quem desideramus agricolam quemque describemus = [et quem describemus]

(Columella, De Re Rustica 1.pr.28.6)

I think examples of relative pronoun + coordinating -que are not that rare.

  • Wonderful finds!
    – brianpck
    Commented Mar 12 at 18:19

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