A TEI Project

Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Double Questions

335. In Double or Alternative Questions, utrum or -ne, whether , stands in the first member; an, anne, or, annōn, necne, or not, in the second; and usually an in the third, if there be one:—

utrum nescīs, an prō nihilō id putās (Fam. 10.26), is it that you don't know, or do you think nothing of it?

vōs ne L. Domitium an vōs Domitius dēseruit (B. C. 2.32), did you desert Lucius Domitius, or did Domitius desert you?

quaerō servōs ne an līberōs (Rosc. Am. 74), I ask whether slaves or free.

utrum hostem an vōs an fortūnam utrīusque populī īgnōrātis (Liv. 21.10), is it the enemy, or yourselves, or the fortune of the two peoples, that you do not know?

Note— Anne for an is rare. Necne is rare in direct questions, but in indirect questions it is commoner than annōn. In poetry -ne ... -ne sometimes occurs.

a. The interrogative particle is often omitted in the first member; in which case an or -ne (anne, necne) may stand in the second:—

Gabīniō dīcam anne Pompêiō an utrīque (Manil. 57), shall I say to Gabinius, or to Pompey, or to both?

sunt haec tua verba necne (Tusc. 3.41), are these your words or not?

quaesīvī ā Catilīnā in conventū apud M. Laecam fuisset necne (Cat. 2.13) I asked Catiline whether he had been at the meeting at Marcus Laeca's or not.

b. Sometimes the first member is omitted or implied, and an (anne) alone asks the question,—usually with indignation or surprise:—

an tū miserōs putās illōs (Tusc. 1.13), what! do you think those men wretched?

an iste umquam dē sē bonam spem habuisset, nisi dē vōbīs malam opīniōnem animō imbibisset (Verr. 1.1.42), would he ever have had good hopes about himself unless he had conceived an evil opinion of you?

c. Sometimes the second member is omitted or implied, and utrum may ask a question to which there is no alternative:—

utrum est in clārissimīs cīvibus is, quem ... (Flacc. 45), is he among the noblest citizens, whom, etc.?

d. The following table exhibits the various forms of alternative questions:—

utrum ... an ... an

utrum ... annōn ( necne, see § 335 . N.)

---- ... an ( anne

-ne ... an

---- ... -ne, necne

-ne ... necne

-ne ... -ne

Note— From double (alternative) questions must be distinguished those which are in themselves single, but of which some detail is alternative. These have the common disjunctive particles aut or vel (-ve). Thus, —quaerō num iniūstē aut improbē fēcerit (Off. 3.54), I ask whether he acted unjustly or even dishonestly. Here there is no double question. The only inquiry is whether the man did either of the two things supposed, not which of the two he did.

XML File