-ne nonne num / by Anthony Gibbins

Some questions begin with a question word, such as quis, cur, quo modo or ubi. But questions asked to simply confirm whether or not something is a fact have their own elegant set of rules in Latin. 

You can simply indicate a question with the tone of your voice or, in a modern punctuation system, with a question mark. But to very clear, you can add an enclitic -ne to the first word in the question (often a verb). For example. Marcellus in caupona habitat. Marcellus lives in the restaurant.  habitatne Marcellus in caupona? Does Marcellus live in the restaurant?

If I have an opinion as to what I think the answer of my question should or will be, I can indicate that by adding nonne or num to my question. For example. nonne Marcellus in caupona habitat? Marcellus does live in a restaurant, doesn't he? num Marcellus in caupona habitat? Marcellus doesn't live in a restaurant, does he?

Surely Marcellus does't live in a restaurant? No, not at all! The restaurant is situated on the ground floor. Our Marcellus lives in the cenaculum.