Latin Vocabulary: Yes No
If I'm asked "Estne puella pulchra?", I can answer with "ita" or "nego", but don't these terms translate to "in this manner!" and "I deny"? How can I say Yes and No in Latin? Or there are no such things?
The English words yes and no don't have exact translations into Latin. The Romans used ita
or ita vero
, which means thus indeed, for the affirmative. For the negative they used adverbs such as minime
, which means hardly or in the least way.
Another common way to answer questions in Latin is to repeat the verb. For your question (estne puella pulchra?
) the simplest answers might be est
for yes and non est
Other than repeating the verb, for variety and for degrees of emphasis in saying yes or no, Romans had recourse to dozens of adverbs.
Answers that basically mean yes: ita
, ita vero
(even so); sane quidem
(clearly indeed, no doubt); certe
(certainly); recte dicis
(you say rightly, you're right).
Answers that basically mean no: non
+ verb; nullo modo
(in no way); minime
(in the least way, not at all); haud
(not at all!); non quidem
Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher.
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