Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Questions to which the answer is NO (version 376)

I well recall those hours in school, leaky fountain pens and inky fingers prominent struggling with Kennedy's Latin Primer.

One of the things that always impressed me as child we that the Romans had a word that make it clear that no answer was required as it was apparent that it would be in the negative.
Nonne Caesar inimicum superavit? (Caesar defeated the enemy, didn’t he?)

Num Caesar inimicum superavit? (Caesar did not defeat the enemy, did he?)

Notice that in the first question a “yes” answer is anticipated but in the second a “no” answer is anticipated. Also note that the Latin word “non” is not needed in the second sentence to indicate the negative construction; “num” is sufficient.

Here is an example of a Num question

No comments: