"Estne urbs in America?"

Translation:Is there a city in America?

August 29, 2019



Doesn't that mean more like "Isn't the city in America" ?

August 30, 2019


That would imply that the answer is "yes", but questions with "-ne" are neutral questions, or open questions, that do not imply whether the answer is "yes" or "no".

To ask "isn't...?" you would use "nonne": "nonne urbs est in America?"

September 6, 2019


Man, that curveball went straight past me and hit me in the back of the head!

So "Estne." Is it a fancier version of "est"? And "Urbs." I just don't get it, though I suppose that's the purpose of this exercise. . .

Let's start with "urbs." Working backwards, I understand its the root of "urban" and therefore means city. How is it related to "urbe"? Is it just the subject versus the predicate? As in, "ea in urbe est" (she is in the city) versus "urbs in Italia" (cities in Italy)?

Then there's "estne." Are there contractions in Latin? Is this just "is/are there"?


Repeat after me, "urbs" is singular, not plural.

I'll get there eventually. Speaking of, is there a plural of "urbs"?

September 8, 2019


You add "-ne" to the end of a word to turn a statement into a yes-or-no question: "Marcus domi dormit" means "Marcus is sleeping at home", but "Dormitne domi Marcus?" is "is Marcus sleeping at home?"

"Urbs" is like the basic form of the word for "city". "Urbe" is the same word, but is used after certain prepositions, like if you want to say "IN the city" or "FROM the city". A bit like how in English you have the word "he" but you have to say "in HIM" and "from HIM". Saying "in urbs" would be as wrong as saying "in he", and saying "urbe est in America" as wrong as saying "him is in America".

September 8, 2019


She sounds very surprised!

August 29, 2019


Why is it "in america" when rome is "Romae" without the "in"?

September 6, 2019


Why not "There is a city in America?"

September 8, 2019


I think it's a bit of meta-humor-- The romans didn't know of the existence of America let alone of American cities. They'd have been pretty surprised by either!

September 4, 2019
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