1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Latin
  4. >
  5. "What is your name?"

"What is your name?"

Translation:Quid tibi est nomen?

August 27, 2019

42 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaptianKaos8

Can some kind person explain this odd word order, quaeso?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

"Tibi" is not really the possessive "your", it's closer to "to you". So "Quid tibi est nomen" is not separating a noun phrase but rather "What to you is (the) name?"

Although Latin is primarily SOV, the word order is relatively flexible. Also, "esse/to be" is a stative/copular verb and as such does not take an object but rather a subject complement, meaning everything is in the nominative. Therefore it is common to see SVC as a way to disambiguate it from SV.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FredrikBorch

The Latin word order is flexible. This means that you are able to rearrange the words in a sentence. It also means that the word order may sometimes sound strange to an English speaker, depending on how the writer chooses to arrange the words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/meteulku_

And also, could someone make a short list of other possible word orders for this sentence, please?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Creetivus

"Quid nomen tibi est" "Quid est tibi nomen" "Quid est nomen tibi" "Quid tibi nomen est" I'm fairly sure that these are the possible orders.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alibektas34

So, if we fix the "quid" at the beginning of the sentence, all the other alternatives are seem valid except for the "Quid nomen est tibi?". Is that a missing alternative, or is it just incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteveSwart1

Havingf done translation work for over 30 years in Warlpiri, an Aboriginal language of Central Australia, it is very interesting to now be learning some Latin, another 'free' word order language. I put 'free' in quotes in that my experience in Warlpiri is that various word orders serve various pragmatic choices made by speakers to make certain things salient.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShaughnCas

Quid est nomen tuum, anyone?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/msroxyroxx

quid est nomen tuum is acceptable, from what i have heard


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hermine143919

yes i too would like to know if nomen tuum could be correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackson443547

Just got wrong answer to test it. But I am unsure if I should report it or if it is really a mistake (march-2021).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LucasNYKFCB

Is "nomen tibi quid est" wrong? In Portuguese you can say "teu nome, qual é?" and in Spanish I think "tu nombre, ¿cual es?" would also be acceptable, although definitely not common. Latin is way more flexible than those two, so it'd be weird to me if the sentence above were wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

Flexible yes. Complete anarchy, no. Question words come first, and when it's a question the verb tends to come earlier.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amasha385137

Can agit be used instead of est?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

No. "Agere" is "to do".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sushant992294

quid agit tibi nomen ? shouldn't it be correct ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

No. "Agere" means "to do". You wrote "What does to you the name?" Only "agere" is a full verb and does not act as an aid to conjugation. It really makes no sense.

You need "esse". What is to you the name?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/barisaabir

So why isn't "Quid est tu nomen?" Accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

It would need to be "tuum", not "tu".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krista189497

yes Rae.F quid est nomen tuum sounds better to me than quid est tibi nomen… but I guess to use tibi is OK too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

That's just your English-speaking instincts. In Latin, using the dative of possession was just as correct as using the possessive adjective. Duolingo is trying to teach us how they, along with the genitive, work differently in terms of the grammar of the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James.Kovetch

What is the difference between tui and tuum? And hom many different ways are there to say your?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

Between grammatical number and gender and case declension, there are a lot of ways to form the possessive "your".
"Tibi" and "vobis" are the dative case. "Nomen tibi" is more literally "the name to you".

http://latindictionary.wikidot.com/adjective:tuus
http://latindictionary.wikidot.com/adjective:vester


Here is a plain-English overview of what the cases are and how they work:
Latin cases, in English

Here are the noun and adjective declension charts:
declensions 1-3
declensions 4&5

Adjectives must agree in gender, number, and case with the nouns they modify, but they have their own declensions. Sometimes you get lucky and the adjective just happens to follow the same declension as the noun, but that is not a guarantee.

For good measure, here are the verb conjugation charts:
1st Conjugation
2nd Conjugation
3rd Conjugation
3rd i-stem Conjugation
4th Conjugation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heather.Shaw

Back to a word order question.
We are asked to translate "Quid est ei nomen?" - what is his name.

Then we are asked to translate what is your name. I go for 'Quid est tibi nomen?' which seems to be following the same stucture to me. While my answer is accepted it offers "Quid tibi est nomen?" as an alternative, presumably the preferred alternative.

When does the thing word go between 'is name' and when does it go outside. Is it completely arbitrary and I'm reading more into this than I should? Is it 'mihi nomen est' or 'nomen mihi est' when I attempt to introduce myself?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

It's extra flexible because that's the dative, not the genitive. "Quid est ei nomen?" is literally "What is to him the name?" That makes it easier to split up and move around.

Introducing yourself, as far as I've seen, would be "Nomen mihi est Heather", literally "The name to me is Heather".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/allenfrang

Hey, since "quis" can be used with an object, can we say here: "Quis nomen tibi est?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

"Esse/to be" takes subject complements, not objects, so that has nothing to do with "quis" being able to go with objects.

That said, "quis" means "who" and we need "what" here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krista189497

This is funny. I followed the moderator's suggestion and said quidne est tibi nomen but the owl did not like this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

You can't attach "-ne", which turns something into a yes-no question, onto a word that signals a different kind of question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GerbenSlings

I don't understand when you have to use 'quid' or 'quis'. Can somebody explain?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

In a nutshell, "quid" is "what" and "quis" is "who".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kickstand2

Wouldn't it be "Quid es tuum nomem"? Wouldnt that make more sense grammatically?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

"Quid tibi est nomen?" makes use of what is called the dative of possession. It makes perfect sense grammatically. Latin is not English and English is not Latin. Irish does something very similar.

https://classics.osu.edu/Undergraduate-Studies/Latin-Program/Grammar/Cases/dative-case

http://dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/latin/dative-possession

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdkvv7kcIVE


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soeren326553

If you say, your name is markus, why isn't it marce? I thought if talking directly to the person it changes?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

Not quite.

Here, "Marcus" is in the nominative because it's either the subject or the subject complement: Nomen tibi Marcus est; Marcus est tibi nomen. Marcus is your name; Your name is Marcus.

It's the vocative "Marce" when you're addressing him directly: Marce, quis es? The address is not part of the sentence itself. Marcus, who are you?

So you would say "Marce, estne nomen tibi Marcus?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheReddestOfReds

Can someone please explain why it is "est" and not "es"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

Same reason it's "my cat is" and not "my cat am". When there's a possessive, it's 3rd person. It's not "What are you", it's "What is your name".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DarkPurpleCloud

quid agit tibi nomen? what is your name? ???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2612

Quid est tibi nomen? What is your name?

Quid agit tibi nomen? What does your name do?

Learn Latin in just 5 minutes a day. For free.