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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Question and Answer

336. There is no one Latin word in common use meaning simply yes or no. In answering a question affirmatively, the verb or some other emphatic word is generally repeated; in answering negatively, the verb, etc., with nōn or a similar negative:—

valetne, is he well? valet, yes (he is well).

eratne tēcum, was he with you? nōn erat, no (he was not).

num quidnam novī ? there is nothing new, is there? nihil sānē, oh! nothing.

a. An intensive or negative particle, a phrase, or a clause is sometimes used to answer a direct question:—

  1. For YES:—
  2. vērō, in truth, true, no doubt, yes.ita vērō, certainly (so in truth), etc.
    etiam, even so, yes , etc.sānē quidem , yes, no doubt, etc.
    ita, so, true , etc.ita est, it is so, true, etc.
    sānē, surely, no doubt, doubtless , etc. 
    certē, certainly, unquestionably, etc. 
    factum, true, it's a fact, you're right, etc. (lit., it was done). 
  3. For NO:—
    1. nōn, not so .

      nūllō modō, by no means.

      minimē, not at all (lit., in the smallest degree, cf. § 329 . a).

      minimē vērō, no, not by any means; oh! no, etc.

      nōn quidem, why, no; certainly not , etc.

      nōn hercle vērō, why, gracious, no! (certainly not, by Hercules!)

    Examples are:—

    quidnam? an laudātiōnēs? ita, why, what? is it eulogies? just so.

    aut etiam aut nōn respondēre (Acad. 2.104), to answer (categorically) yes or no.

    estne ut fertur forma? sānē (Ter. Eun. 361), is she as handsome as they say she is? (is her beauty as it is said?) oh! yes.

    miser ergō Archelāus? certē sī iniūstus (Tusc. 5.35), was Archelaus wretched then? certainly, if he was unjust.

    an haec contemnitis? minimē (De Or. 2.295), do you despise these things? not at all.

    volucribusne et ferīs? minimē vērō (Tusc. 1.104), to the birds and beasts? why, of course not.

    ex tuī animī sententiā tū uxōrem habēs? nōn hercle, ex meī animī sententiā; (De Or. 2.260), Lord! no , etc.

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