French edit

Etymology edit

From Old French quis, past participle of querre.

Participle edit

quis (feminine quise, masculine plural quis, feminine plural quises)

  1. past participle of quérir

Participle edit

quis m pl

  1. masculine plural of qui

Verb edit


  1. first/second-person singular past historic of quérir

Galician edit

Verb edit


  1. (reintegrationist norm) first/third-person singular preterite indicative of querer

Latin edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Proto-Italic *kʷis, from Proto-Indo-European *kʷís. See there for cognates.

Pronunciation edit

Pronoun edit

quis or quī (feminine quae or qua or quis, neuter quid); relative/interrogative pronoun (with m optionally → n in compounds)

  1. (interrogative pronoun)
    1. (in the masculine singular, not agreeing with any other word) who
      Quis custōdiet ipsōs custōdēs?<But> who will watch the watchmen themselves?
      • 106 BCE – 43 BCE, Cicero, Pro S. Roscio Amerino 76.10:[1]
        Nuntium misit. Quem aut ad quem?
        • 1903 translation by C. D. Yonge
          He sent a messenger—whom? or to whom?
    2. (in the neuter singular, not agreeing with any other word) what
      Quid accidit?What happened?
      • 106 BCE – 43 BCE, Cicero, De Domo Sua 72.3:
        Quid est enim exsul?
        For what is an exile?
    3. (agreeing in gender with a noun in a copular sentence) what
      • 70 BCE, Cicero, In Verrem
        Pro deum hominumque fidem! Quid hoc est? Quae haec causa est? Quae ista impudentia?
        For heaven's sake! What is this? What is the cause? What is this impudence of yours?
      • c. 4 BCE – 65 CE, Seneca the Younger, Hercules Furens 1138:
        Quis hic locus, quae regio, quae mundi plaga?
        What (is) this place? What area? What region of the world?
    4. (as predicate agreeing in gender and number with subject) who
      Quis es?Who are you? (with the default emphasis on you)
      Quis es tū?Who are you? (with the marked emphasis on are)
      Quī sumus?Who are we?
    5. (in the neuter quid) why, what for
  2. (indefinite pronoun, alone and after si, nisi, num, ne) someone, something, anyone, anything; any
    • c. 52 BCE, Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico 7.9:
      ut si quid etiam de sua salute ab Aeduis iniretur consili
      in order that if any <plot> concerning his own safety should have been organized by the Aedui
    • 70 BCE – 19 BCE, Virgil, Eclogues 6.9–10:
      quis tamen haec quoque, sī quis
      captus amōre leget, tē nostrae, Vāre, myrīcae,
      tē nemus omne canet
      If anyone, if anyone reads this captured by love [for these verses], our tamarisks shall sing of you, Varus, and of you every grove shall sing.
    • 405 CE, Jerome, Vulgate Evangelium secundum Ioannem.3.5:
      Respondit Iēsus: āmēn āmēn, dīcō tibi, nisi quis renātus fuerit ex aquā et Spīritū, nōn potest introīre in rēgnum Deī.
      Jesus replied, "verily verily, I say to you, unless a person is reborn out of water and Spirit, that person can't enter into the kingdom of God."
    • 405 CE, Jerome, Vulgate Epistula ad Hebraeos.12.16:
      quis fornicātor, aut profānus ut Esau, quī propter ūnam ēscam vendidit prīmitīva sua.
      Do not let anyone be a fornicator, nor a profane person like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.
Usage notes edit
  • As a question word, quis usually occupies the first position in a clause, regardless of its syntactic function (although it may be preceded by a connector or a pragmatically fronted constituent).[2]
  • In a question that does not contain a copular verb, the interrogative pronoun is usually masculine singular (quis) when asking for the identity of some person(s) and neuter singular (quid) when asking for the identity of some thing. In all periods of Latin, the masculine forms of quis can be used as a generic interrogative pronoun with a scope including both male and female beings despite its masculine grammatical gender (compare the generic sense of the masculine noun homo (man, human being)).
  • In questions that contain a form of the copula esse and a noun in the nominative case in addition to a nominative form of quis, the form of quis may match the gender and number of the noun by attraction. In this context, any form of quis can mean either "who" or "what": the meaning depends on the sense of the noun, while the form and grammatical gender is derived from agreement with the grammatical gender of the noun. But it is also possible alternatively for the neuter singular form quid to be used as a predicative pronoun with the sense "what" in a question with a masculine, feminine or plural subject, with no agreement in gender or number between the subject and the predicate. According to Lebreton, agreement is rarer than the use of the non-agreeing neuter interrogative pronoun, but neither is exceptional.[3] It is not always simple in copular questions to determine whether a form of quis is acting as an interrogative pronominal subject, an interrogative pronominal predicate, or an interrogative adjective (see also quī), since the same grammatical case is used for all of these functions, and as mentioned above, Latin regularly places an interrogative word first regardless of its syntactic function in a clause.
Declension edit

Interrogative and indefinite pronoun.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative quis
quid quī1 quae quae
Genitive cuius1 quōrum quārum quōrum
Dative cui1 quibus
Accusative quem quam
quid quōs quās quae
Ablative quō

1In Republican Latin or earlier, alternative spellings could be found for the following forms of quī/quis and its compounds: the masculine nominative singular or plural quī (old spelling quei), the genitive singular cuius (old spelling quoius), the dative singular cui (old spelling quoi or quoiei), the dative/ablative plural quīs (old spelling queis).
2When used as an indefinite word (pronoun or adjective), the feminine nominative singular and neuter nominative/accusative plural is usually qua (with short ă) instead of quae. Indefinite quă is generally only found directly after , nisi, num, or and may be considered to be either enclitic to the preceding word or (in Priscian's view) forming a compound with it; accordingly, sīqua, numqua, and nēqua are sometimes written together (as also are the masculines sīquis, numquis, and nēquis). The form quă is never used for the feminine plural, nor for any form of the relative pronoun or of the interrogative pronoun or adjective.

  • An archaic form of the nominative plural is quēs (found on the Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus).
  • In the early Latin of Ennius, Pacuvius, and Plautus,[4] the form quis is sometimes used as a feminine nominative singular predicative interrogative pronoun or a feminine singular interrogative adjective, not only including women in a generic sense, but even in reference to a specific woman (see Citations:quis). But use of the form quis as a specifically feminine pronoun is rare in later time periods. The feminine nominative singular form quae is also attested in reference to a woman or in agreement with a feminine noun (see Citations:quae), but it can be difficult to determine whether feminine interrogative quae is a form of the pronoun quis (who), or a form of the interrogative adjective quī (which) (which can be used substantivally).

Adjective edit

quis or quī (feminine quae, neuter quod); relative/interrogative pronoun

  1. (alternative nominative singular form of adjectival interrogative pronoun quī) which
    • 29 BCE, Virgil, Georgics 2.177–178:
      Nunc locus arvorum ingeniis, quae robora cuique,
      quis color et quae sit rebus natura ferendis.
      Now give we place to the genius of soils, the strength of each, its hue, its native power for bearing.
    • 116 CE, Tacitus, Annales 1.48:
      Tunc signo inter se dato inrumpunt contubernia, trucidant ignaros, nullo nisi consciis noscente quod caedis initium, quis finis.
      Then, passing the signal to one another, they broke into the tents and struck down their unsuspecting victims; while no one, apart from those in the secret, knew how the massacre had begun or where it was to end.
Declension edit

See quī.

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Descendants edit

See qui.

Etymology 2 edit

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit


  1. second-person singular present active indicative of queō

References edit

  1. ^ M. Tullius Cicero. The Orations of Marcus Tullius Cicero, literally translated by C. D. Yonge. London. George Bell & Sons. 1903. Perseus
  2. ^ Harm Pinkster (2015) The Oxford Latin Syntax, volume 2, page 954
  3. ^ Jules Lebreton (1901) Études sur la langue et la grammaire de Cicéron, page 31
  4. ^ John Wordsworth (1874) Fragments and Specimens of Early Latin, page 101

Further reading edit

  • quis”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • quis”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • quis in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • Carl Meißner, Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) to let those present fix any subject they like for discussion: ponere iubere, qua de re quis audire velit (Fin. 2. 1. 1)
    • an anonymous writer: nescio quis
    • to isolate a witness: aliquem a ceteris separare et in arcam conicere ne quis cum eo colloqui possit (Mil. 22. 60)
    • Solon made it a capital offence to..: Solo capite sanxit, si quis... (Att. 10. 1)
    • (ambiguous) the visible world: haec omnia, quae videmus
    • (ambiguous) the vegetable kingdom: ea, quae terra gignit
    • (ambiguous) the vegetable kingdom: ea, quae e terra gignuntur
    • (ambiguous) the vegetable kingdom: ea, quae a terra stirpibus continentur
    • (ambiguous) the vegetable kingdom: ea quorum stirpes terra continentur (N. D. 2. 10. 26)
    • (ambiguous) the atmosphere: aer qui est terrae proximus
    • (ambiguous) eastern, western Germany: Germania quae or Germaniae ea pars quae, ad orientem, occidentem vergit
    • (ambiguous) where are you going: quo tendis?
    • (ambiguous) I cannot wait till..: nihil mihi longius est or videtur quam dum or quam ut
    • (ambiguous) nothing is more tiresome to me than..: nihil mihi longius est quam (c. Inf.)
    • (ambiguous) since the time that, since (at the beginning of a sentence): ex quo tempore or simply ex quo
    • (ambiguous) the middle ages: media quae vocatur aetas
    • (ambiguous) Pericles, the greatest man of his day: Pericles, quo nemo tum fuit clarior
    • (ambiguous) Pericles, the greatest man of his day: Pericles, vir omnium, qui tum fuerunt, clarissimus
    • (ambiguous) it is more than twenty years ago: amplius sunt (quam) viginti anni or viginti annis
    • (ambiguous) on the day after, which was September 5th: postridie qui fuit dies Non. Sept. (Nonarum Septembrium) (Att. 4. 1. 5)
    • (ambiguous) to-day the 5th of September; tomorrow September the 5th: hodie qui est dies Non. Sept.; cras qui dies futurus est Non. Sept.
    • (ambiguous) the world of sense, the visible world: res quas oculis cernimus
    • (ambiguous) those to whom we owe our being: ei, propter quos hanc lucem aspeximus
    • (ambiguous) how old are you: qua aetate es?
    • (ambiguous) our contemporaries; men of our time: homines qui nunc sunt (opp. qui tunc fuerunt)
    • (ambiguous) how are you getting on: quo loco res tuae sunt?
    • (ambiguous) if anything should happen to me; if I die: si quid (humanitus) mihi accidat or acciderit
    • (ambiguous) under such circumstances: quae cum ita sint
    • (ambiguous) what will become of him: quid illo fiet?
    • (ambiguous) what am I to do with this fellow: quid huic homini (also hoc homine) faciam?
    • (ambiguous) how came it that...: quid causae fuit cur...?
    • (ambiguous) from this point of view; similarly: quo in genere
    • (ambiguous) by some chance or other: nescio quo casu (with Indic.)
    • (ambiguous) Fortune's favourite: is, quem fortuna complexa est
    • (ambiguous) what is the use of: quid attinet? with Infin.
    • (ambiguous) Plato's ideal republic: illa civitas, quam Plato finxit
    • (ambiguous) give me your opinion: dic quid sentias
    • (ambiguous) this is more plausible than true: haec speciosiora quam veriora sunt
    • (ambiguous) I am undecided..: incertus sum, quid consilii capiam
    • (ambiguous) what do you mean to do: quid tibi vis?
    • (ambiguous) what is the meaning of this: quid hoc sibi vult?
    • (ambiguous) what is the meaning of this: quid hoc rei est?
    • (ambiguous) abstruse studies: studia, quae in reconditis artibus versantur (De Or. 1. 2. 8)
    • (ambiguous) the usual subjects taught to boys: doctrinae, quibus aetas puerilis impertiri solet (Nep. Att. 1. 2)
    • (ambiguous) the usual subjects taught to boys: artes, quibus aetas puerilis ad humanitatem informari solet
    • (ambiguous) men of that profession: qui ista profitentur
    • (ambiguous) philosophical subjects: quae in philosophia tractantur
    • (ambiguous) disciples of Plato, Platonists: qui sunt a Platone or a Platonis disciplina; qui profecti sunt a Platone; Platonici
    • (ambiguous) moral science; ethics: philosophia, quae est de vita et moribus (Acad. 1. 5. 19)
    • (ambiguous) moral science; ethics: philosophia, in qua de bonis rebus et malis, deque hominum vita et moribus disputatur
    • (ambiguous) theoretical, speculative philosophy: philosophia, quae in rerum contemplatione versatur, or quae artis praeceptis continetur
    • (ambiguous) practical philosophy: philosophia, quae in actione versatur
    • (ambiguous) to determine the nature and constitution of the subject under discussion: constituere, quid et quale sit, de quo disputetur
    • (ambiguous) to bring forward a proof of the immortality of the soul: argumentum afferre, quo animos immortales esse demonstratur
    • (ambiguous) it follows from this that..: sequitur (not ex quo seq.) ut
    • (ambiguous) it follows from this that..: ex quo, unde, hinc efficitur ut
    • (ambiguous) the point at issue: id, de quo agitur or id quod cadit in controversiam
    • (ambiguous) the connection of thought: ratio, qua sententiae inter se excipiunt.
    • (ambiguous) I have exhausted all my material: copiam quam potui persecutus sum
    • (ambiguous) to set some one a theme for discussion: ponere alicui, de quo disputet
    • (ambiguous) to let those present fix any subject they like for discussion: ponere iubere, qua de re quis audire velit (Fin. 2. 1. 1)
    • (ambiguous) the question at issue: res, de qua nunc quaerimus, quaeritur
    • (ambiguous) what is the meaning, the original sense of this word: quid significat, sonat haec vox?
    • (ambiguous) what is the meaning, the original sense of this word: quae est vis huius verbi?
    • (ambiguous) what is the meaning, the original sense of this word: quae notio or sententia subiecta est huic voci?
    • (ambiguous) what do we understand by 'a wise man': quem intellegimus sapientem?
    • (ambiguous) what do we mean by 'virtue': quae intellegitur virtus
    • (ambiguous) what do we mean by 'virtue': quid est virtus?
    • (ambiguous) Cicero says in his 'Laelius.: Cicero dicit in Laelio (suo) or in eo (not suo) libro, qui inscribitur Laelius
    • (ambiguous) a book which is attributed to some one: liber qui fertur alicuius
    • (ambiguous) the book is attributed to an unknown writer: liber refertur ad nescio quem auctorem
    • (ambiguous) the reader: legentes, ii qui legunt
    • (ambiguous) a letter to Atticus: epistula ad Atticum data, scripta, missa or quae ad A. scripta est
    • (ambiguous) what sort of humour are you in: quid tibi animi est?
    • (ambiguous) what will become of me: quid (de) me fiet? (Ter. Heaut. 4. 3. 37)
    • (ambiguous) there is nothing I am more interested in than..: nihil antiquius or prius habeo quam ut (nihil mihi antiquius or potius est, quam ut)
    • (ambiguous) an atheist: qui deum esse negat
    • (ambiguous) movable, personal property: res, quae moveri possunt; res moventes (Liv. 5. 25. 6)
    • (ambiguous) the necessaries of life: quae ad victum pertinent
    • (ambiguous) a livelihood: quae suppeditant ad victum (Off. 1. 4. 12)
    • (ambiguous) I have no means, no livelihood: non habeo, qui (unde) vivam
    • (ambiguous) to talk of a subject which was then the common topic of conversation: in eum sermonem incidere, qui tum fere multis erat in ore
    • (ambiguous) how are you: quid agis?
    • (ambiguous) what is going on? how are you getting on: quid agitur? quid fit?
    • (ambiguous) imports and exports: res, quae importantur et exportantur
    • (ambiguous) the debtor: debitor, or is qui debet
    • (ambiguous) the perfume exhaled by flowers: odores, qui efflantur e floribus
    • (ambiguous) domestic animals: animalia quae nobiscum degunt (Plin. 8. 40)
    • (ambiguous) a legislator: qui leges scribit (not legum lator)
    • (ambiguous) aristocracy (as a form of government): civitas, quae optimatium arbitrio regitur
    • (ambiguous) the aristocracy (as a party in politics): boni cives, optimi, optimates, also simply boni (opp. improbi); illi, qui optimatium causam agunt
    • (ambiguous) the aristocracy (as a social class): nobiles; nobilitas; qui nobilitate generis excellunt
    • (ambiguous) the public income from the mines: pecunia publica, quae ex metallis redit
    • (ambiguous) let the consuls take measures for the protection of the state: videant or dent operam consules, ne quid res publica detrimenti capiat (Catil. 1. 2. 4)
    • (ambiguous) what is your opinion: quid censes? quid tibi videtur?
    • (ambiguous) what is your opinion: quid de ea re fieri placet?
    • (ambiguous) men of military age: qui arma ferre possunt or iuventus
    • (ambiguous) men exempt from service owing to age: qui per aetatem arma ferre non possunt or aetate ad bellum inutiles
    • (ambiguous) veterans; experienced troops: qui magnum in castris usum habent
    • (ambiguous) by the longest possible forced marches: quam maximis itineribus (potest)
    • (ambiguous) the cohort on guard-duty: cohors, quae in statione est
    • (ambiguous) subjects: qui imperio subiecti sunt
    • (ambiguous) to say the least..: ne (quid) gravius dicam
    • (ambiguous) in short; to be brief: ne multa, quid plura? sed quid opus est plura?
    • (ambiguous) to sum up..: ut eorum, quae dixi, summam faciam
    • (ambiguous) this I have to say: haec habeo dicere or habeo quae dicam
    • (ambiguous) from this it appears, is apparent: ex quo intellegitur or intellegi potest, debet
    • (ambiguous) from this it appears, is apparent: ex quo perspicuum est
    • (ambiguous) no wonder: nec mirum, minime mirum (id quidem), quid mirum?
  • Sihler, Andrew L. (1995) New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, →ISBN

Lule edit

Pronoun edit


  1. I

References edit

  • Antonio Maccioni / Machoni, Arte y vocabulario de la lengua lule y tonocoté (1732)

Portuguese edit

Alternative forms edit

Pronunciation edit


  • Rhymes: (Brazil) -is, (Portugal, Rio de Janeiro) -iʃ
  • Hyphenation: quis

Verb edit


  1. first/third-person singular preterite indicative of querer