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Latin Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, teachers, and students wanting to discuss the finer points of the Latin language. It is built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we are working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about Latin language. We also allow questions about Ancient Greek; details can be found below or on this meta page.

Si Anglice non intellegis et hoc situ uti vis, vide hanc paginam Latine scriptam.

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Are "-que" and "et" equivalent?

up vote 14 down vote favorite

I was taught that one can use the '-que' suffix to string together multiple words, in a similar way to putting 'et' between them.

Are these two equivalent? Did one have a connotation in classical (Caesar-era) Latin that the other didn't?

2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accept

Both et and -que can often translate "and". The use of -que is more limited (see James's answer), so et is a safer choice.

The suffix -que only means "and", but et can also be used as an adverb ("also", "in addition"). Sometimes et and etiam are both equally valid. As a rule of thumb, you can use et whenever you want to add something. Sometimes etiam or quoque is better, though.

up vote 3 down vote

James Kingsbery's answer is exactly correct. If two things "belong" together, then -que is appropriate. If you were going shopping, you might be asked to pick up ova butyrumque ("eggs and butter"), but if you were talking about what you saw on your walk through the countryside you'd be more likely to talk about boves et rusticos ("cows and peasants").


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Are "-que" and "et" equivalent?

up vote 14 down vote

I was taught that one can use the '-que' suffix to string together multiple words, in a similar way to putting 'et' between them.

Are these two equivalent? Did one have a connotation in classical (Caesar-era) Latin that the other didn't?


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up vote 9 down vote

Both et and -que can often translate "and". The use of -que is more limited (see James's answer), so et is a safer choice.

The suffix -que only means "and", but et can also be used as an adverb ("also", "in addition"). Sometimes et and etiam are both equally valid. As a rule of thumb, you can use et whenever you want to add something. Sometimes etiam or quoque is better, though.

edit

@EthanBierlein That would actually make a very nice separate question! - Joonas Ilmavirta Oct 5 at 14:47

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