Lesson 10 – ‘Qui, que, quod’, the family

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.


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

The two sentences must have a noun 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.

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
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 vocative case.

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

  1. number from the noun that it replaces
  2. gender from the noun that it replaces
  3. case from its relationship with the verb in its part of the sentence
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 a (‘by whom/which’) and in (‘in whom/which’).

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’

The family

Concentrate on learning words marked with an asterisk* first.

We have already used these words for members of the family

filia, –e (f.) daughter
filius, –i (m.) son
pater, patris (m.) father
puer , –eri (m.) boy
uxor, uxoris (f.) wife
vir, viri (m.) man, husband

Here are some new useful words

ava, –e (f.) grandmother
avus, –i (m.) grandfather
frater, fratris (m.) brother*
mater, matris (m.) mother*
parens, parentis (m. and f.) parent
soror, sororis (f.) sister*
idem avus petit versus Elizabetham de Segrave que fuit uxor fratris sui. The same grandfather petitions against Elizabeth de Segrave who was the wife of his brother. versus against
Elizabetha, -e (f.) Elizabeth
post mortem ave et matris suarum Johannes quinque libras abbati et monachis concessit pro missis pro animabus suis. After the death of his grandmother and mother, John granted five pounds to the abbot and monks for masses for their souls. libra, -e (f.) pound
missa, –e (f.) Mass
Massmonachus, –i (m.) monk
mors , mortis (f.) death
item lego terram cum pertinenciis sorori mee ad terminum vite sue Likewise I leave the land with appurtenances to my sister for the term of her life. item likewise
vita, –e (f.) life
terminus, –i (m.) term


Are you confident with:

  • What qui, que, quod means?
  • What determines the number, gender and case of qui, que or quod?
  • The Latin words for the members of a family?

What next?