"Are the boys in Italy?"
Translation:Suntne pueri in Italia?
Romae is the locative form of Roma. Only names of cities, towns, small islands (likely consisting of one town or city), and a handful of other nouns (like domus) can use the locative.
Italia does not fit into thosé groups so we use the in + ablative construction for location.
I agree that the word that has the "-ne" ending must go first in the sentence, but does that word have to be the verb? Sorry, we may have been told that and I missed it! :-(
Postscript: Having read more comments on this page, I see that in yes/no sentences the verb comes first with "-ne" on the end of it.
I don't think there's any difference. The Romans would have used context to understand which meaning to take from it. On second thoughts, they might have used "these boys" or "those boys" if they wanted to be really clear they were asking about specific boys: "Suntne pueri illi in Italia?"
The rule is the word that carries the suffix "-ne" always goes first in the sentence so that the listener is alerted that they're about to hear a yes/no question. I've only just learned that there's a further rule that that first word has to be the verb. It is very like English, isn't it? Thanks to everyone for helping me with this.