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  5. "What does Marcus drink?"

"What does Marcus drink?"

Translation:Quid bibit Marcus?

March 13, 2020



To be sure, it is exceptional to have the interrogative outside initial position, but it is possible. I cite Augustine's Confessiones, Book VI, section 16 (really Jesus in Luke 16:11), "Si in iniusto mammona fideles non fuistis, verum quis dabit vobis? Et si in alieno fideles non fuistis, vestrum quis dabit vobis?" (If with unrighteous mammon you have not been faithful, the true (riches) who will give you? And if with another's you have not been faithful, your own who will give you?)


But "Marcus quid bibit?" is wrong?


We often say that in Latin word order doesn't affect meaning, but in truth there are some exceptions. This includes the rule that in Latin an interrogative word always precedes its clause and can't come within it.


My translation of "What does Marcus drink?" (Marcus quid bibit?) should be accepted. While the interrogative term is usually clause-initial, it need not be.


So, five minutes ago I was marked incorrect and given "Quid Marcus bibimus" as the staff answer. This has jusr been rejected


I doubt you were given Quid Marcus bibimus?, but report it if you happen across this again.

bibimus is first person plural ('we drink'). Quid bibimus? -> 'What are we drinking?"

bibit is third person singular and would work with Marcus as the subject. Quid bibit? -> 'What is he/she/it drinking?'

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