3

Normally we use accusative to express the destination of the movement in Latin. Why then is the ablative form of interrogative pronoun (ie. "quo") used in the "Quo vadis?" sentence?

When we answer this question, everything is back to normal and we use accusative, for example "Romam vado".

  • 5
    Quō originated as the ablative of quī but it ended up taking on a life of its own as an adverb. One of the meanings it gained was "whither". – Draconis Sep 22 '17 at 19:12
  • 2
    Thank you for your explanation. Why don't you add it as an answer, so I could accept it? – Marek Lipka Sep 22 '17 at 20:34
  • 2
    It's a bit too short for the answer atm but I'll flesh it out tomorrow and provide some sources. – Draconis Sep 22 '17 at 20:44
  • @Draconis no you won't. – Buttle Butkus Mar 26 '18 at 10:12
1

Typically the direction of movement is expressed with accusative (perhaps with in or ad). While quo is originally an ablative of the interrogative pronoun, it should not be treated as an ablative here. Instead, just take it as an adverb, not as an inflected pronoun.

It would be interesting to know why the ablative form evolved into this pronoun.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.