Questions tagged [interrogative]

For questions about interrogative words, such as 'quis' (who), 'cur' (why), and 'quando' (when).

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How should a question be formulated to call for an ablative of respect as the answer?

Imagine a sentence that contains an ablative of respect: Quintus est pedibus aeger. Now that same sentence with the ablative of respect removed: Quintus est aeger. What is the best way to formulate a ...
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Under what circumstances is the interrogative subjunctive used?

I know that sometimes I see the subjunctive used when the person is asking a question of fact. However, it isn't clear why they would use the subjunctive mood versus the indicative. For example, there ...
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How do you ask "How + adjective" questions in Latin, such as "how big is your house?", "how large was Caesar's army"?

Many students who want to practice spoken Latin come up with questions starting with "How + adjective": how large? how big? how important?. Is there a short way to ask those questions or is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Use of the subjunctive in answering questions

I am working through some lessons and the guide has the following exchanges: Velisne libum? Velim. Visne libum? Volo. So the guide seems to be expecting that if the question is put in the optative ...
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-2 votes
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What is the difference for these words for "which"?

There are three main choices for expressing the idea of "which" in Latin: qui quinam quisnam How do you choose which one to use in which situation? So, I am asking both for interrogatives ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Why would an interrogative pronoun be in the genitive (other than meaning "whose")?

I am doing some Rosetta Stone and the phrase is: Cuius magnitudinis libo eges? The meaning is apparently supposed to be "What size cake do you need?" There are other similar interrogatives ...
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What is the difference between uti and quare?

Uti and quare seem to have similar meanings, (how? or in what manner?) Is there a difference between the two words? What situations would they be used in that would differ?
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7 votes
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What is the grammar of ‘quid illud quod’ in Ambrose De. ob. Val. 35?

Introduction and question Ambrose is generally not too hard to read; his structure is pretty straight forward, his word-choice is not too weird, and he seems to have favoured a style which would be ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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How does "quid causae" work grammatically?

I do not understand the grammar of quid causae = "[for] what cause", as in Nescio quid causae fuerit, cur nullas ad me litteras dares I do not know what the reason was why you sent me no ...
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8 votes
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Constituendi autem sunt qui sint in amicitia fines et quasi termini diligendi (Cic. Amic. 56)

I was wondering to what extent the agreement pattern exemplified with the following sentences drawn from Cicero's De Amicitia can be regarded as the most natural one. I'm asking this question since, ...
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7 votes
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Interrogative pronouns about animals (Quis aut quid)

If I want to ask the question about the dog, whose name is Cerberus should I ask Quis est Cerberus? or Quid est Cerberus? Do we use quis or quae (according to gender) about animals or quid? What ...
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8 votes
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Quem or quid when asking what something is buying?

I am not sure whether to say "Quem emit Iulius?" or "Quid emit Iulius?" if I want to know what Julius is buying. I know the interrogative pronoun should be in the accusative case ...
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1 answer
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How to translate "what" when used as an ironic interjection

Is there any good way to translate "what" when used as an ironic interjection, e.g. "What? He thought that would be a good idea?" said in a sarcastic tone? My first thought is just to use quis or quid ...
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9 votes
2 answers
1k views

When can "qui" mean "how"?

From brianpck's comment on another answer: "qui" quite often means "how" in Plautus This took me by surprise, since I'd never seen that use before. In what contexts can quī mean "how"? And where ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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About the difference between the enclitic "ne" and the non-enclitic "ne"

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....
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7 votes
3 answers
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Confused about the use of "quae" as an interrogative word

Sometimes, I read that "quae" could be used, not only as a relative word, but also as an interrogative word. Sometimes I read that it's not like that in the correct usage. Quote, from a fellow Latin ...
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6 votes
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In which cases the enclitic -ne is optional, and and in which is it mandatory?

As I get it, -ne is used to play the role of a question word when there's no question word, and of course, when it's a yes-no question. But is it good practice to omit it in such questions? Is it a ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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"Any thoughts" in Latin

How would one translate "any thoughts?" into Latin? It is an ellipse for "does anyone have any thoughts?" I would think "ullas cogitationes?" for "Aliquis ullas cogitationes habet?"
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Is this a question or an affirmation?

Reading the Digest (6th century, copy of 9th century), I find this sentence: Sed si plures servum percusserint, utrum omnes quasi occiderint teneantur videamus. One author who established the text ...
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3 votes
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Declension case in "Quo vadis?" sentence

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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
572 views

How would you say, "How long have you been a X?"

I want to say in Latin, "How long have you been a dog? I have been a dog four or five years now." But how do I form the interrogative phrase, "How long?" My first inclination was to use the phrase "...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Where to put the enclitic -ne?

The enclitic particle -ne can be used to form a binary (yes/no) question. I would like to know how attaching it to different words changes the meaning of the question. I have a clear idea of how it ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Composing a question with hortari and an ut-clause

When I was composing this question yesterday, I wanted to ask this: Which words would you suggest me to use? I wanted to do it using hortari and an ut-clause. I was looking for a question form of ...
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12 votes
3 answers
364 views

How do I express total surprise or perplexity when asking a question?

Are there conventional expressions in Latin to strengthen the question, showing total surprise or perplexity? How do you say, for example, "What the heck...?" or "Why on earth...?" in Latin?
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the relationship between "cuius" and "quoius"

In most Latin grammars, cuius is introduced as the genitive of qui (relative pronoun) or quis (interrogative): Cuius soror es? — Whose sister are you? Marcus, cuius pater sum, miles est. — Mark, ...
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9 votes
1 answer
353 views

When can *quis* be used as an adjective interrogative pronoun?

The interrogative pronouns quis and quī have me rather confused. I understand that quis is generally substantive, while quī is generally adjective. But Allen and Greenough (§148) indicate that quis ...
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