For the translation, do we really need to add "surely" every time for the sentence structure with "num"? Can we just say something like "Doesn't Corinna live alone?" or "Corinna doesn't live alone, does she?" (and don't call me Surely).
Edit: I think "of course (not)" would also work for the translation of "num". What do you think?
Thanks for the explanation!
So I can understand NUM poses the English TAG QUESTIONS, is that true?
Yet, your answer made think how badly I have been studying this Latin course since I try to gasp the language patterns solely based on the exercises, and never going to the tips-and-notes session. This is something I will fix from the next unit on.
I blelieve it is not quite a tag question. See this on tag questions. http://www.grammar.cl/Intermediate/Question_Tags.htm
Here are examples of a Duo tag question from the Spanish course.
"Nosotras deberíamos leer las instrucciones, ¿cierto?" (We should read the instructions, shouldn't we?)
"Tú puedes mejorar tus calificaciones, ¿no?" (You can improve your grades, can't you?)
Notice what is tagged on at the end of each sentence.
There's no tag question in the Latin, but that doesn't mean that using a tag question in the English translation would be wrong. Where Latin uses a particle "num" to signal that a negative answer is expected, unstilted modern English uses tag questions. They serve the same purpose.
There are plenty of cases in Duolingo where the sentence structure doesn't align perfectly (or at all) between two languages. There are many examples far more egregious than this, where literal word-for-word translation is sacrificed for the sake of natural expression. Using the "doesn't...does she?" structure here would be a mild and totally reasonable instance of that, imo.
At any rate, Allen & Greenough's Latin Grammar translates "num" questions with English tag questions, so there's certainly traditional precedent for it:
Num dubium est? (Rosc. Am. 107) There is no doubt, is there?
It has nothing to do with being a tag question like in English. As it doesn't exist in Latin. So, you cannot compare.
You cannot compare Spanish and Latin for the ""Tú puedes mejorar tus calificaciones, ¿no?"" as Latin lacks somewhat of short ways to say "no". This structure is not applicable to Latin.
But Num and Nonne are really like English tags.
You study Italian, do you?
= means in English, I'm convinced that the person really study Italian, or I want to direct the question in one direction: the "yes" direction.
So, it's 100% exactly like the Latin "Nonne".
For "don't you?. It's exactly the meaning of the Latin "Num".
Remember that translating is not making a calque of the words from a language to another one, it's reaching the closest meaning you can, trying to not add additional meanings, or removing meanings. That's all. If they translated your Corean series with words of the same grammatical nature only, you would have a hard time to understand what they mean.
Be careful, though, with the English versions.
Expecting the answer yes (the Latin one with Nonne), you really have to couple the tag "don't you" with a positive-sounding question: You like ice cream, don't you? (expected answer: Of course I do!!) Or, "You study Italian, don't you?"
Expecting the answer No, the one in Latin that uses Num, you'll have: You don't like spinach, do you?! (Expected answer: No, of course I don't like spinach!) disclaimer--I personally love spinach; but I imagine these questions being asked of small children.
"Num" and "Nonne" in Latin, can be considered as some kind of questions-tags, they are not at the end of the sentence, but at the beginning, as real question-words, but the important part is their ability to modulate the meaning and the sense of the answer. So, in the meaning, it's the same thing.
Num = I expect a negative answer.
Very often a question-tag is used in English to express it.
Nonne = I expect an affirmative answer.
Very often, a question-tag is also used in English to express that.
Do you? Right? Etc...
The one who asks the question want the other one to answer "yes".
So, they are the same.
I agree entirely. The "doesn't ... , does she?" structure serves very well to translate sentences with num. I use this structure regularly in everyday speech. I very rarely use "Surely", and the way it is being used in this translation and others in this section feels very unnatural to me.
I'm sure the course contributors know that. But they wrote this structure to teach us.
It shows us better, that:
- Num is used as a question word.
- Num has a role of a negation, so no other negation is the sentence.
Surely not" (=num) she lives alone. Very literal, but very efficient to learn.
When I say "it has a role of negation", I mean, in the English translation. The "surely not" is more about a strong negative probability, and so = a strong probability of a negative answer.
And it's the more important here. Question with "num" = strong probability (according to the one who asks the question) to get a negative answer.
The fact to have this Latin meaning, is more important than having a sentence that we could say everyday. Anyway, in English, we don't use everyday a question with a strong probability of negative answer, that's a Latin thing.
Regards: "Corinna doesn't live alone, does she?" That is a tag question. Just not a good translation of the Latin. See the Duo tip for this lesson. https://www.duolingo.com/skill/la/places/tips-and-notes Reading the tips makes the lesson so much easier.
See my comentary/ explanation above on Tag Questions
Why avoiding "surely"? Shirley is a nice name!
It's not the best translation maybe, but the Latin Num is unstranlatable in English anyway.
"Does Corinna really live alone?" will be less efficient than their translation, as it can accept a "yes" or a "no", it's too ambiguous, and the "really" include in the sentence another meaning, that would be very confusing. Letting people think that "num" is "really".
"Surely not" sounds like a weak probability to me (= a strong negative possibility). "Really" is like a doubt about a particular term of the question. They are not the same, and the important part is to convey the strong negative probability meaning.
Correct; they are the nominative singular forms, for feminine and masculine, used to describe singular subjects. (If we have "I see Corinna alone / only Corinna" it will be Corinnam sōlam videō , where "Corinna alone" are both in the accusative singular feminine; similarly, Marcum sōlum videō .)
"Sola is a feminine nomin. sing. adjective that describes the (feminine nomin. sing.) subject, Corinna."
See, that makes sense, but... what's got me really confused here is the idea that sola is even supposed to be an adjective at all. I mean, clearly, it's declining like an adjective, so it must be, but... why is an adverb not used instead? I mean, if it's an adjective that's modifying "Corinna" instead of an adverb that's modifying "habitat", then, surely, the sentence must mean...
"Surely, [the lone Corinna] does not reside"
(^ adjective modifying "Corinna")
... instead of...
"Surely, Corinna does not [live alone]"
(^ adverb modifying "live").
Num is negative and translate with "not" in the English sentence, as there's no way to translate it literally in English. Num = "surelynot"
It's because the sentence expect a negative answer, but it's very hard to translate it in English. They chose the "surely-not" way.
No punctuation in Latin. No coma, and no full stop.
But all the sentences glued together, it's not our habit to read, it's really hard to read, and I don't know how Romans could.
Maybe this can help a little?
Use nominative Corinna (sōla) when "Corinna (alone)" DOES something, or IS something; in other words, if she's the SUBJECT of the verb, and you'd use "she" to replace the name:
Corinna sōla habitat = Corinna lives alone. (SHE lives ...)
Corinna sōla est laeta = Corinna alone is happy. (SHE is ...)
We see Corinna alone in the road: Corinnam sōlam in viā vidēmus . Here, she's in the accusative case (one of the OBJECT cases), because someone else ("We") are doing something to HER ("seeing her").
Latin is complicated, in that it has three different cases (= forms of the noun) for various object functions (which are all the same in English: HER):
We tell Corinna the story / We tell the story to Corinna, where (TO) HER is an indirect object: Fābulam Corinnae nārrāmus : dative case.
We make a journey WITH Corninna: Iter cum Corinnā facimus , where preposition CUM requires a form called ablative case. (Other prepositions require the accusative, however: Ad Corinnam currimus , We run towards Corinna.)
There's the vocative case, for when we talk to her directly: "Hurry, Corinna!" Festīnā, Corinna!. For her type (1st declension) of name, the nominative and vocative are identical.
Finally, possessive (= genitive case). Haec est vīlla Corinnae , "This is Corinna's house."
Explanations are definitely needed.
Just add the name to your dictionary, you type on the word, you reply "yes" when they say "do you want to add it to your custom dictionary", and next time, it won't autocorrect this way. It's easy.
For other words, deactivate your autocorrection, or add a Latin keyboard app, or dictionary for keyboards.
Maybe you hear someone else talking as if it's known that "Corinna lives alone." But perhaps you've seen that there's someone else coming and going from her house--so you ask this question in a way that suggests they're crazy (or ill-informed) for thinking that she lives alone.
Think of seul/seule in French = adjective.
How do you know it's an adjective? It qualifies the person. The person is alone. It doesn't qualify the verb.
That's true, in English, "alone" is considered as both, as an adverb and an adjective (according to Cambridge dictionary), but the logics in different in different languages.