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2677. The moods and tenses of indirect questions follow the same rules as govern clauses in indirect discourse. The person may be changed.

After primary tenses, the mood and tense of the direct question are retained (indicative, past indicative with ἄν, deliberative subjunctive, potential optative with ἄν).

After secondary tenses, the mood and tense of the direct form may be retained or the optative may be used instead. The latter is more common. But a past indicative with ἄν always remains unchanged.

a. Direct Form Retained.—““πολλάκις ἐσκόπει τί διαφέρει μανία_ς ἀμαθία_he often considered in what respect ignorance differed from madnessX. M. 1.2.50, ““ἠπορεῖτο τι ποιήσειhe was uncertain what to doX. A. 7.3.29 ( = τί ποιήσω, deliberative future, 1916), ““ἐβουλεύοντο εἴτε κατακαύσωσιν . . . εἴτε τι ἄλλο χρήσωνταιthey deliberated whether they should burn them or dispose of them in some other mannerT. 2.4 ( = κατακαύσωμεν, χρησώμεθα;), ““ἠρώτησε . . . ποῦ ἂν ἴδοι Πρόξενονhe asked where he could see ProxenusX. A. 2.4.15 ( = ποῦ ἂν ἴδοιμι;).

b. Optative: ““ἤρετο εἴ τις ἐμοῦ εἴη σοφώτεροςhe asked whether any one was wiser than IP. A. 21a ( = ἐστί;), ““ τι δὲ ποιήσοι οὐ διεσήμηνεhe did not announce publicly what he was going to doX. A. 2.1.23 ( = τί ποιήσω;), ““τὸν θεὸν ἐπηρώτων εἰ παραδοῖεν Κορινθίοις τὴν πόλινthey questioned the god whether they should surrender the city to the CorinthiansT. 1.25 ( = παραδῶμεν;). Here παραδοῖεν might represent the aorist indicative, but that tense is usually retained to avoid confusion (exceptionally ἠρώτα_ τι πάθοιεν X. C. 2.3.19; cp. X. A. 6.3.25, D. 50.55). An imperfect relatively anterior to the time of the main verb is retained in D. 30.19.

c. A dubitative subjunctive in an indirect question, when dependent on an optative, may be attracted into the optative; as ““ἔλεγες . . . ὅτι οὐκ ἂν ἔχοις ἐξεθὼν τι χοῷο σαυτῷyou were saying that if you went out you would not know what to do with yourselfP. Cr. 45b ( = τί χρῶμαι ἐμαυτῷ;).

d. Homer has the optative for the indicative due to indirect discourse only in indirect questions; as ““εἴροντο τίς εἴη καὶ πόθεν ἔλθοιthey asked who he was and whence he had comeρ 368. See 2624 c.

2678. After a secondary tense the mood of a direct question may be retained (usually for vividness) in the same sentence with the mood of an indirect question (cp. 2632). Thus, ““ὁμοῖοι ἦσαν θαυμάζειν ὅποι ποτὲ τρέψονται οἱ Ἕλληνες καὶ τί ἐν νῷ ἔχοιενthey seemed to be wondering to what direction the Greeks would turn and what they had in mindX. A. 3.5.13, ““ἤρετο τι θαυμάζοι καὶ ὁπόσοι αὐτῶν τεθνᾶσινhe asked what it was that he was astonished at and how many of them were deadT. 3.113 ( = τί θαυμάζεις, πόσοι τεθνᾶσιν;).

a. In some cases there is no apparent reason (apart from desire for variety) for this use of the indicative and optative in the same sentence. Sometimes the indicative may ask for a statement of fact, the optative request an opinion of the person questioned.

2679. Parallel to 2624 are cases like ““ᾔδει ὅπου ἔκειτο ἐπιστολήhe knew where the letter had been putX. C. 2.2.9.

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