"Are there three women?"
Translation:Suntne tres feminae?
I’m no expert but think it’s just because without the question mark or inflection, your answer could be a statement (there are three women). The point of the sentence is to teach plurals and plurals within a question. Suntne makes the sentence a question without any additional inflection or punctuation. Classical Latin didn’t use punctuation much so it’s truer to the written language.
Thanks for the reply Jessica, I think you are correct. I also found out that "-ne" is used to give emphasis to something in the question, rather than just making it a yes/no question as I thought it would. You can see a nice discussion here, if you're interested: https://latin.stackexchange.com/questions/2781/where-to-put-the-enclitic-ne