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Beginners' Latin
Edward the Confessor attending mass, illuminated drawing. Mid 13th century. Cat ref: E 36/284 f 2v. Copyright, unknown

Lesson 10: Qui, que, quod; the family

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qui, que, quod

This means

  • Who, whom – when masculine or feminine
  • Which – when neuter

qui, que or quod is used to join two short sentences together.

For example

Maria domina est. Maria terram tenet. Mary is the lady. Mary holds the land.

becomes

Maria domina est que terram tenet. Mary is the lady who holds the land.

The two sentences must have a nounGlossary - opens in a new window in common. In our example, each sentence contains the word Maria.

To avoid repeating the noun when the two sentences are joined, qui, que or quod is used to replace it. In our example, que replaces Maria in the second half of the new sentence. qui, que or quod is a relative pronoun.Glossary - opens in a new window

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Singular
  Masculine Feminine Neuter Means
Nominative qui que quod who/which
Accusative quem quam quod whom/which
Genitive cuius cuius cuius whose, of whom
Dative cui cui cui to whom, to which
Ablative quo qua quo by whom/which;
in whom/which

 

Plural
  Masculine Feminine Neuter Means
Nominative qui que que who/which
Accusative quos quas que whom/which
Genitive quorum quarum quorum whose, of whom
Dative quibus quibus quibus to whom, to which
Ablative quibus quibus quibus by whom/which;
in whom/which
There is no vocativeGlossary - opens in a new window case.

To work out which form of qui, que or quod to use, take the

  1. NumberGlossary - opens in a new window from the noun that it replaces
  2. GenderGlossary - opens in a new window from the noun that it replaces
  3. CaseGlossary - opens in a new window from its relationship with the verb in its part of the sentence

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hec est Maria que fuit uxor Johannis Ely. This is Mary who was the wife of John Ely.
  • que agrees in number and gender with the noun: it is feminine singular like Maria. It is nominative because Maria is the subject of the verb fuit.
hoc manerium est quod rex tenet. This is the manor which the king holds.
  • quod is neuter singular like manerium. It is accusative because manerium is the object of tenet.
hic miles est cuius uxor Isabella est. This is the knight whose wife is Isabella.
  • cuius is masculine singular like miles. It is genitive because Isabella is the wife ‘of the knight’.
Agnes est filia cui meam terram lego. Agnes is the daughter to whom I leave my land.
  • cui is feminine singular like Agnes. It is dative because I leave my land ‘to Agnes’.
hoc testamentum est quo terram lego. This is the will by which I leave the land.
  • quo is neuter singular like testamentum. It is ablative because I leave the land ‘by the will’.

The ablative is also used after the prepositions Glossary - opens in a new window a (‘by whom/which’) and in (‘in whom/which’).

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Handy hints Handy hint - quod
Remember that quod means ‘because’ and ‘that’, as well as ‘which’. To make sure you have the right meaning
  1. Read the sentence carefully
  2. Decide which meaning would make most sense
  3. Check if quod follows a verb like ‘to say’ or ‘to know’. If it does, it probably means ‘that’. For example, dicit quod ‘he says that’
  4. Remember quod only declines when it means ‘which’
Checklist Checklist:
Are you confident with:
What qui, que, quod means?
What determines the number, gender and case of qui, que or quod?

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