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667. The following are the general principles of indirect discourse, the particular applications of which are shown in 669710.

1. In indirect quotations after ὅτι or ὡς and in indirect questions,

a) after primary tenses, each verb retains both the mood and the tense of the direct discourse, no change being made except (when necessary) in the person of the verb;

b) after secondary tenses, each primary tense of the indicative and each subjunctive of the direct discourse may be either changed to the same tense of the optative or retained in its original mood and tense. The imperfect and pluperfect, having no tenses in the optative, are generally retained in the indicative (but see 673). An aorist indicative belonging to a dependent clause of the direct discourse remains unchanged, but one belonging to the leading clause may be changed to the optative like a primary tense.

2. Secondary tenses of the indicative expressing an unreal condition, indicatives with ἄν, and all optatives (with or without ἄν), are retained, with no change in either mood or tense, after both primary and secondary tenses.

3. When the quotation depends on a verb which takes the infinitive or participle, the leading verb of the quotation is changed to the corresponding tense of the infinitive or participle, after both primary and secondary tenses, ἄν being retained if it is in the direct form; and the dependent verbs follow the preceding rules.

4. The adverb ἄν is never joined with a verb in indirect discourse unless it stood also in the direct form. On the other hand, ἄν is never omitted in indirect discourse if it was used in the direct form; except that, when it is joined to a relative word or a particle before a subjunctive in direct discourse, it is regularly dropped when the subjunctive is changed to the optative after a past tense in indirect discourse.

5. The indirect discourse regularly retains the same negative particle which would be used in the direct form. But the infinitive and participle sometimes take μή in indirect discourse where οὐ would be used in the direct form. (See examples under 685 and 688.) In indirect questions introduced by εἰ, whether, and in the second part of alternative indirect questions (665), μή can be used as well as οὐ.

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