Latin/Questions

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Salvēte omnēs! Welcome back to Latin for Wikiversity. Here you can peruse a new lesson in Latin. If you would like to catch up, you can find a directory of lessons, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses in the links on the right.

For the next few lessions we'd like to cover some basic concepts. Today’s lesson: direct questions.

New Grammar[edit | edit source]

We’ve had some basic questions mixed in with previous lessons already. The key thing to remember is that in direct questions, the first word of the sentence will be some sort of a question-mark equivalent. It might be a particle/ enclitic e.g. –ne. It might be an adverb, e.g. cūr, ubī. It might be an interrogative pronoun, such as quis, quid. It might be an interrogative adjective such as quī / quae / quod, or quot or quantus. You should be aware that the pronouns and adjectives have unique inflections, which I won’t introduce formally here. A good site to study the interrogative pronouns and adjectives is at the Latin Library. The relative pronouns mentioned at that link are the same forms as the interrogative adjectives but will be introduced later on.

New Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

(on this list we have 3 nouns, 3 verbs, 3 particles/ adverbs that will caucus with the 4 additional adverbs, 1 pronoun, and 3 adjectives)

Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
responsum, ī answer
quaestiō, quaestionis (f.) question, investigation
(inter)rogatiō, rogationis (f.) question, inquiry, bill
rogō (1) ask
respondeō, respondēre, respondī, respōnsus (2) answer, respond
quaerō, quaerere, quaesīvī, quaesītus (3) ask, seek
-ne question mark / turns a statement into a question appended to the dominant word in the sentence, it introduces a yes/no question enclitic/particle
nōnne introduces a question expecting a “yes” answer   lit. “is it not so?”
num introduces a question expecting a “no” answer.
cūr why  
quandō when, at what time  
quōmodo how, in what way
ubī where
quis, quid who, what
interrogative pronoun
quantus, a, um how great, how large, how much, how many
quī, quae, quod which, what
quot how many indeclinable

New Sentences[edit | edit source]

Latin English Notes
Quaestionem rogās. You ask a question.
Rogāsne interrogationem? Are you asking a question?
Ego quaerō, tū respondēs. I ask, you answer.
Quaerunt, respondēmus. They ask, we answer.
Cūr quaeris? Why do you ask?
Mē rogant. They ask me.
Responsum quaerō. I am seeking an answer.
Responsum nōn habēmus. We do not have an answer.  
Habēsne mihi responsa? Do you have answers for me?
Quid legis? What are you reading?
Quid Mārcus edit? What is Marcus eating?
Venitne Lūcia? Is Lucia coming?
Num Gāius venit? Gaius is not coming, is he?
Nōnne fīliī Paulae veniunt? Paula’s sons are coming, aren’t they?
Nōnne puer est fortis? Isn't the boy brave?
Quandō venis? When are you coming?
Quis sum ego? Who am I?
Quem vidēs? Whom do you see?
Quid agunt? What are they doing?
Ubī est vīvārium? Where is the zoo?
Quot animālia in vīvāriō sunt? How many animals are in the zoo?
Quanta est domus tua? How big is your house?
Quantam aquam bibis? How much water do you drink?
Quantī sunt elephantī? How big are the elephants?
Quantī sunt elephantī! How big the elephants are!
Quōs elephantōs vident? Which elephants do they see?
Quot elephantōs videtis? How many elephants do you all see?
Cūr tū iēntāculum nōn edis? Why do you not eat breakfast?
Quid nunc? What now? What more is there? What is new?
Quid est? What is it? What’s the matter?
Quid est homō? What is man? In the philosophical sense
Quis est homō? Who is the man?
Quī homō est? Which man is he?
Quae fēmina est? Which woman is she?
Quod diārium est tuum? Which newspaper is yours?
Quī canis est tuus? Which dog is yours?
Quae est tua domus? Which one is your house?
Cuī bonō? Who benefits? lit. For whom is the good?
Quibus rosās dās? To whom/ to which people are you giving roses?
Quōcum labōrās? With whom are you working?
Cujus liber est? Whose book is it?
Amāsne meam stolam? Do you like my dress?
Quam stolam amās? Which dress do you like?
Quōmodo pugnat? In what manner does he fight?
Quōmodo id faciunt? How do they do it?
Quōmodo scīs? How do you know?
Quis, quid, quandō, ubī, quōmodo, cūr? Who, what, when, where, how, why?
Cavē quid dicis, quandō, et cuī. Be careful what you say, when, and to whom.

Practice[edit | edit source]

Practice and learn the words and phrases in this lesson
Step one First learn the words using this lesson:
Step two Next try learning and writing the sentencing using this:
Note that the Memrise stage covers the content for all lessons in each stage.
If you are skipping previous stages you may need to manually "ignore" the words in previous levels (use the 'select all' function)

This post contains several lessons’ worth of material, so don’t be worried if it takes longer to master the different question words and their usage. And there is a lot of higher-level grammar that will have to wait, too. For now, it’s good to have a general familiarity with questions, because they are used in so many ways in conversational Latin. Let us know if you spot anything we’ve missed.

In the next lesson we will try to present the “household” vocabulary in Latin. Grātiās vōbīs agō, et habeātis bonam fortūnam!