Yes and No Questions

Summary of -ne, Nōnne and Num

Origin of -ne

ne began with the force of nōnne (v.i.), expecting a yes response, but later “the negative force was lost and -ne was used merely to express a question” (AG, 332c N1)

Summary of Use

The enclitic -ne is attached to the emphatic word of a question, making the question a yes-no proposition.

When nōnne appears (viz. nōn ne), the force of the question expects a yes response

When the particle num appears, the force of the question expects a no response

Basic Uses

-ne

  • Did she fear that: eane id veritus est?
  • Does she seem to fear death or pain: ea mortemne vedētur aut dolōrem timēre?

Nōnne

  • Do you no observe: nōnne anamadvertis?

Num

  • Is there any doubt: num dubium est?

Advanced Notes on -ne

Occasionally, yes-no propositions are given without –ne

These are often ironic questions

  • Do you not feel that your schemes are revealed: patēre tua cōnsilia nōn sentīs?

Often, when –ne is attached directed to the verb, it shares the expectation of nōnne, a yes response

  • Do you not recall [what] I said in the Senate: meministīne mē in sentātū dicere?

ne may participate in double questions, where -ne…an should be translated as or

  • I ask whether slaves or free: quaerō servōsne an liberōs.

In poetry, -ne…-ne sometimes occurs, and should be translated whether…or.

The compounds anne…an and necne are rare alternatives

  • Shall I talk to Gabinius, or Pompey, or both: Gabīniō dīcam anne Pompeiō an utrīque?
  • Are these your words or not: sunt haec tua verba necne?

The enclitic –ne is scanned short in Latin poetry

The Essential AG: 332a-b

Famous Phrase: Num negāre audēs? Quid tacēs? (Do you dare deny it? Why are you silent?) [Cicero, In Catilinam, 1.4]

yesno_grammar.pdf

Licet Constructions

Uses of Licet

Summary of Use

licet is an impersonal verb, appearing only “in the third personal singular, the infinitive and the gerund” (AG, 207)

licet takes the dative whenever it governs a finite phrase or clause

licet also offers the dative (or rarely an accusative) to the subject of this phrase

licet may be translated it is allowed, is permitted, may be done

Summary of Forms

Indicative

  • licet / licēbat / licēbit / licuit / licuerat / licuerit

Subjunctive

  • liceat / licēret / licuerit / licuisset

Et Cetera

  • licēre / licuisse / licitum est / licitūrum est / licēns

Basic Uses

Formal

  • No bathing in the fish-pond: lavāre in cētārium nōn licet.
  • They ask that they may do this: rogant ut id sibi facere liceat.
  • You speak as though it were not permitted: loquēris quasi nōn licēret.

Hortatory

  • let all terrors menace me: licet omnēs mihi terrōres impendeat.

this use may have concessive force, appearing where one would expect a concession with ut

  • if concessive, it should be translated ‘though all terrors might menace me’

Review

Licet may take–

  • the simple infinitive
  • the infinitive with accusative subject
  • the infinitive with dative of interest
  • the subjunctive, usually without ut (concessive licet)

The Essential AG: 207, 527

Famous Phrase: videlicet (contraction of videre licet, it is permitted to see)

[further contracted and anglicized as viz. expressing ‘plainly,’ ‘namely,’ or ‘as follows’]

licet_uses.pdf