GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF INDIRECT DISCOURSE
Simple and compound sentences, and principal
complex sentences, introduced by ὅτι
are treated as follows:
(I) After primary
tenses, the original mood and tense are retained, except that the person of the verb may be changed.
(II) After secondary
tenses, primary tenses of the indicative and all subjunctives may
be changed to the same tense of the optative; but an indicative denoting unreality (with or without ἄν
) is retained. Imperfects and pluperfects are generally retained (2623 b).
The verb of simple and compound sentences, and of principal clauses of complex sentences, when introduced by a verb taking the infinitive or participle, passes into the infinitive or participle in the corresponding tense. ἄν
is kept, if it was used in the direct form.
clauses of complex sentences introduced by ὅτι
are treated as follows:
(I) Subordinate clauses of a sentence introduced by a leading verb in a primary
remain unchanged in mood and tense.
(II) If subordinate clauses are introduced by a leading verb in a secondary
tense, all primary tenses of the indicative and all subjunctives (with or without ἄν
be changed to the corresponding tenses of the optative without ἄν
. All secondary tenses of the indicative (with or without ἄν
) remain unchanged.
Verbs standing in subordinate clauses of sentences introduced by a leading verb requiring the participle or the infinitive, follow the rules of 2602, 2603.
The principal and subordinate clauses of the direct form retain the names principal
in indirect discourse though the whole clause in which they stand itself depends on the verb introducing the indirect discourse (the leading
The change from direct to indirect discourse is almost always a change of mood
, not of tense
. The time of a participle introducing indirect discourse is determined by that of the leading verb. The person
of the verb is often changed.
of the direct form is retained in indirect discourse except when a dependent subjunctive with ἄν
becomes optative after a secondary tense. Here ἐά_ν, ὅταν, ἐπειδάν, ἕως ἄν
, etc., become εἰ, ὅτε, ἐπειδή, ἕως
The same negative (οὐ
) used in the direct discourse is commonly kept in the indirect form. But in some cases with the infinitive and participle μή
takes the place of οὐ
(2723 ff., 2730, 2737
No verb ever becomes
subjunctive by reason of indirect discourse. The subjunctive (with or without ἄν
) may, after a secondary tense, become optative without ἄν
No verb can be changed to the optative in indirect discourse except after a secondary tense, and since, even after a secondary tense, indicatives or subjunctives may be retained for vividness, no verb must
become optative by reason of indirect discourse.
All optatives with or without ἄν
in the direct form are retained (with or without ἄν
) in indirect discourse introduced by ὅτι
. After verbs requiring the participle or infinitive, such optatives in principal clauses become participles or infinitives (with or without ἄν
), but remain unchanged in subordinate clauses. a.
The optative in indirect discourse may represent either the indicative or the subjunctive after a secondary tense. b.
A present optative in indirect discourse may represent (1) the present indicative; (2) the imperfect (2623 b) indicative; (3) the present subjunctive with or without ἄν
; (4) the present optative.
The imperative is commonly replaced in indirect discourse by a periphrasis with χρῆναι
. Cp. 2633 b.
The retention of the mood of direct discourse, where either the direct or indirect form is possible, lies solely in the option of the writer or speaker. The vivid form reproduces the time and situation in which the quoted words were used. The vivid form is preferred by some writers, as Thucydides; the indirect form by others, as the orators, Plato, and Xenophon.