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  5. "Do you live in Italy?"

"Do you live in Italy?"

Translation:Habitasne in Italia?

August 28, 2019



What is "habitasne"?


It's habitas + -ne. -ne is used on the end of a verb in some cases to make statements into questions.


Not just any questions. Yes/no questions ;-)


Not just verbs. It's common to encounter things like "egone", for example.


Yes, and not just the first word of the sentence.

But usually" on the verb, and usually* on the first word of the sentence.


"In Italia habitasne" was flagged as incorrect. Is DL incorrect?


Same question! Is it because -ne must be on the first word of the sentence? Thanks.


it uses the ending -ne to introduce a non-loaded (yes/no) question. I got this wrong myself but remembered afterwards


"Do you live in Rome?" translates as "Habitasne Romae?"

So why is "Habitasne Italiae?" wrong? (And for that matter, why is "Habitasne in Roma?" also wrong?)


Since Italy is a country, not a city, town, small island, or one of the special nouns that is allowed to use the locative case, we have to use in Italia.

Since Roma is a city, it had the locative (Romae) and we need to use it when saying 'in Rome', instead of in Roma.

As to why it isn't consistent, from what I understand the locative case used to be available for all nouns (assuming it made sense) but was slowly starting to be replaced with the use of in, but the transition wasn't complete when much of the classical works were written. Though I am sure someone can correct me if I made a mistake here.


Your explanation of the disappearing locative and its use is spot on.


I'm guessing that -ne must move the verb to the start of the sentence since "in Italia habitasne?" is not accepted?


Question words/words ending in "-ne" can only be positioned at the beginning of the sentence.


I disagree, It's "usually" not always. Wikipedia says 90% of the time (I think it was in Cicero, but it makes no difference, this variation is found in many authors).

It's more common to find it on the verb, and on the first word of the sentence, (most of the cases), but it's absolutely not mandatory.

The enclitic has to be attached to the emphatic word ((Source: A Latin grammar, by William Gardner Hale), meaning the word that "contains" the question.

See this question: " Bacasne in horto vides?"

Here "Bacas" is a noun, not a verb.
Source: https://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/viewtopic.php?t=68642

The place of the enclitic word changes the meaning of the question:

Bacasne in horto vides? do you see berries in the garden?
In hortone bacas vides? do you see berries in the garden?
Videsne bacas in horto? do you see the berries in the garden?
Tune vides bacas in horto? do you see berries in the garden?

All are perfectly valid in Latin.

Source: https://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/viewtopic.php?t=68642

And it's also possible to have -ne in the middle of at the end of the sentence, it's a matter of emphasis.

Cum Marcone loquitur Gaius?

Source: https://latin.stackexchange.com/questions/2781/where-to-put-the-enclitic-ne

because of this (Wiktionary is not always reliable, but Latin grammars say the same thing)



Thanks for this awesome explanation!


@MikolajJak, The lingot was intended for perce_neige! If you can, please pass it! ;)


why is, in Italia habitasne wrong?


It should be correct. Latin grammars say it's correct.

Probably they want to give us the habit to use the -ne on the first word of the sentence, it's not mandatory at all, but maybe better for beginners.


I think the "-ne" needs to append to the first word, but "In Italia habitas?" should be accepted (but isn't).


Not sure it should. There was no question mark in Latin until way later. Questions were specified using the « -ne » suffix or using interrogative adverbs like « quod / quid » and the likes.


I agree with you, it's really better, there seems to be cases where they didn't use the "-ne", and nothing to ask questions (it is given in Grammar books), but it's not recommendable at all. Romans were fluent, they knew when a question even without a mark would be unambiguous. We cannot.


That's not mandatory at all. The "-ne" is usually (most of the time) on the first word, and on the verb, but when it's not the case, the sentence is still grammatically valid.



Why not "Vivisne in Italia?"


That's like saying: "Are you alive in Italy?" when the apparent meaning of the English prompt is: "Do you reside in Italy?"


But, didn't Cicero use this to mean "to live"/to reside"?

The "vivere" is also listed as "to reside" in dictionaries.

[For instance "First Lessons in Latin, Or, An Introduction to Andrews& Stoddard's Latin" (1840) by Ethan Allen Andrews.]

Vivo, vivere, vixi, victum, n. to live; to reside; to be

It's not the first meaning as it appears in all the dictironaries, (the first meaning = to be alive, to survive, etc...)

But when they say, in Latin literature "In Italia/Romae vivo", it doesn't mean they are alive in Italy, but "to reside".

In descend languages :

Vivere: Italian = only mean to live with the meaning to be alive. (Source: Larousse)
Vivre: French = Means to be alive, and to reside. (Je vis à Paris)
Vivir: Spanish = Means to be alive, and to reside. (Vivo en Barcelona)


According to the dictionary listing "vivere" as "to reside", it's correct.


Why "In Italia habitas?" not accepted? Isn't "ne" optional and the word order is pretty free?


« In Italia habitas » is an affirmative sentence meaning « You do live in Italy ». The « -ne » suffix indicates a yes/no question: « Habitasne in Italia » / « Do you live in Italy? » (yes/no).


Or, if you want to make the interrogation on the "Italia", as you are unsure if it's really "Italia":

Habitas en Italiane?
Do you (really) live in Italy

The really is not a very good translation, because it removes the neutrality of the yes/no question asked with the -ne, but it shows the word where the question is asked changes.

The -ne, according to Latin grammar books, is on the word where the question is asked, where the emphasis is.


¿Why is ‘In Italia habitasne?’ marked wrong?


Question words/words ending in "-ne" can only be positioned at the beginning of the sentence.


See my other comment with the link. Surely it's better for beginners, as we are, to take the habit of placing -ne at the beginning of the sentence, but it's wrong to say that it's not grammatically correct to put it in another place.


Your sentence is correct (according to Latin grammar).


Why is the genitive of location not accepted here, i.e. Habitasne Italiae but it is accepted in sentences like

Romae habito ( I live in Rome)


It's not a genitive, but a locative (which looks like the genitive in the first and second declension singular forms). It's only used for cities, small islands, domus, and a few other words.


Thanks for bringing my error to my attention, as it has prompted me to look further into my notes, and has brightened my previously obscure understanding of it (which I last studied a long time ago). The notes are from

Teach Yourself Latin by Gavin Betts, chapter 8.1/3 Motion and position

As you have mentioned correctly according to these notes, locative is declined similar to the first and second genitive declensions.

And yes, locative applies mostly to cities only.


There's no genitive of location in Latin. It does exist in ancient Greek.


Why is "In Italia habitasne?" wrong?


Yes/no questions with the « -ne » suffix need the verb (ending in « -ne ») to be placed at the beginning of the sentence. Ergo: « Habitasne in Italia »


That's not always true.


Why is "in italia habitasne?" incorrect?


Also can I add -ne to Italia : "Italiane habitasne ?"


How about, "Habitasne Italiae?"


Since Italy is a country, not a city, town, small island, or one of the special nouns that is allowed to use the locative case, we have to use in Italia.


Why do you have to put in before italia as in "Habitasne in Italia" and not before "Habitasne romae?"


Romae is a locative form and locatives are only available to some nouns: names of cities, towns, small islands, and a few special nouns like domus. Italia is not one of those so to specify location we have to use in Italia.


I omitted "in" why does it matter?


It doesn't make sense without the in.

The majority of the time, location is expressed with in + a noun in the Ablative. Only a few nouns use the locative with no in.


Okay, thank you!


would habitasne also work for plurals? and for 3rd persons?


Just take the appropriate form of the verb for the person and number and then add -ne.

Habitatisne in Italia -> "Do you (plural) live in Italy?"

Habitatne in Italia -> "Does he/she/it live in Italy?"

Habitantne in Italia -> "Do they live in Italy?"


Why "habitasne Italia" is wrong?


A bare ablative has many uses but location isn't one of them. The in is required.

In this course you will see uses of the locative case that does not use a preposition but is only used with names of cities, towns, small islands, and a handful of other nouns like domus.

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