MOODS IN INDIRECT DISCOURSE
334. When words once uttered or thought are afterward quoted, the quotation may be either direct or indirect. In a direct quotation the original statement is repeated without incorporation into the structure of the sentence in the midst of which it now stands. In an indirect quotation the original sentence is incorporated into a new sentence as a subordinate element dependent upon a verb of saying, thinking, or the like, and suffers such modification as this incorporation requires. The followiing example will illustrate:Original sentence (direct discourse). I will come.REM. The distinction between direct discourse and indirect is not one of the exactness of the quotation. Direct quotation may be inexact. Indirect quotation may be exact. Suppose, for example, that the original statement was, There are good reasons why I should act thus. If one say, He said, “I have good reasons for acting thus,” the quotation is direct but inexact. If one say, He said that there were good reasons why he should act thus, the quotation is exact though indirect.
Direct quotation, He said, "I will come."
Indirect quotation, He said that he would come.
335. Direct quotation manifestly requires no special discussion, since the original statement is simply transferred to the new sentence without incorporation into its structure.
336. Indirect quotation, on the other hand, involving a readjustment of the original sentence to a new point of view, calls for a determination of the principles on which this readjustment is made. Its problem is most simply stated in the form of the question, What change does the original form of a sentence undergo when incorporated into a new sentence as an indirect quotation? All consideration of the principles of indirect discourse must take as its starting point the original form of the words quoted.
For the student of Greek that expresses his own thought in another language, it will also be necessary to compare the idiom of the two languages. See 351 ff.
337. The term indirect discourse is commonly applied only to indirect assertions and indirect questions. Commands, promises, and hopes indirectly quoted might without impropriety be included under the term, but are, in general, excluded because of the difficulty of drawing the line between them and certain similar usages, in which, however, no direct form can be thought of. Thus the Infinitive after a verb of commanding might be considered the representative in indirect discourse of an Imperative in the direct discourse; somewhat less probably the Infinitive after a verb of wishing might be supposed to represent an Optative of the direct; while for the Infinitive after verbs of striving, which in itself can scarcely be regarded as of different force from those after verbs of commanding and wishing, no direct form can be thought of.
338. Concerning commands indirectly quoted, see 204. Concerning the Infinitive after verbs of promising, see 391.
339. Indirect assertions in Greek take three forms:(a) A clause introduced by o[ti or w`j. In the New Testament, however, w`j is not so used.340. Indirect Questions are introduced by eiv or other interrogative word; the verb is in a finite mood. HA. 930; G. 1605.
(b) An Infinitive with its subject expressed or understood. See 390.
(c) A Participle agreeing with the object of a verb of perceiving, and the like. See 460.
341. Classical Usage in Indirect Discourse. In indirect assertions after o[ti and in indirect questions, classical usage is as follows:(a) When the leading verb on which the quotation depends denotes present or future time, the mood and tense342. The above rule applies to all indirect quotations in which the quotation is expressed by a finite verb, and includes indirect quotations of simple sentences anti both principal and subordinate clauses of complex sentences indirectly quoted. The classical grammars enumerate certain constructions in which an indicative of the original sentence is uniformly retained in the indirect discourse. These cases do not, however, require treatment here the general rule being sufficient as a basis for the consideration of New Testament usage.
of the direct discourse are retained in the indirect.
(b) ‘When the leading verb on which the quotation depends denotes past time, the mood and tense of the direct discourse may be retained in the indirect, or the tense may be retained and an Indicative or Subjunctive of the direct discourse may be changed to an Optative. HA. 932; G. 1497.
343. New Testament Usage in Indirect Discourse. In indirect assertions after o[ti and in indirect questions, New Testament usage is in general the same as classical usage. Such peculiarities as exist pertain chiefly to the relative frequency of different usages. See 344-349.John 11:27; evgw. pepi,steuka o[ti su. ei= o` Cristo.j o` ui`o.j tou/ qeou/, I have believed that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.344. The Optative occurs in indirect discourse much less frequently in the New Testament than in classical Greek. it is found only in Luke’s writings, and there almost exclusively in indirect questions.
Gal. 2:14; ei=don o[ti ouvk ovrqopodou/sin, I saw that they were not walking uprightly.
Matt. 20:10; evlqo,ntej oi` prw/toi evno,misan o[ti plei/on lh,myontai, when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more.
Mark 9:6; ouv ga.r h;|dei ti, avpokriqh/, for he wist not what to answer.
Luke 8:9; VEphrw,twn de. auvto.n oi` maqhtai. auvtou/ ti,j au[th ei;h h` parabolh,, and his disciples asked him what this parable was.
Luke 24:23; h=lqon le,gousai kai. ovptasi,an avgge,lwn e`wrake,nai( oi] le,gousin auvto.n zh/n, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. In this example the principal clause of the direct discourse is expressed in the indirect discourse after a verb of past time by an Infinitive, while the subordinate clause retains the tense and mood of the original.
Acts 5:24; dihpo,roun peri. auvtw/n ti, a'n ge,noito tou/to, they were perplexed concerning them whereunto this would grow. But for a'n in this sentence, it might be thought that the direct form was a deliberative question having the Subjunctive or Future Indicative. But in the absence of evidence that a'n was ever added to an Optative arising under the law of indirect discourse, it must be supposed that the indirect discourse has preserved the form of the direct unchanged, and that this was therefore a Potential Optative with protasis omitted. See also Luke 6:11; 15:26; Acts 10:17.
REM 1. Acts 25:10 contains the only New Testament instance of an Optative in the indirect quotation of a declarative sentence. (But cf. 347 and 258.) It here stands in a subordinate clause which in the direct discourse would have had a Subjunctive with or without a'n. If the a'n be supposed to have been in the original sentence (cf. Luke 2:26), it has been dropped in accordance with regular usage in such cases. HA. 934; G. 1497, 2.
REM. 2. The clause mh,pote dw,|h [or dw,h|] auvtoi/j o` qeo.j meta,noian in 2 Tim. 2:25 is regarded by B. p. 256, Moulton, WM. pp. 374, 631, foot notes, as an indirect question. But concerning the text and the interpretation, see 225.
345. In quoting declarative sentences the indirect form is comparatively infrequent in the New Testament, the direct form either with or without o[ti being much more frequent. The presence of o[ti before a quotation is in the New Testament therefore not even presumptive evidence that the quotation is indirect. The o[ti is of course redundant.Luke 7:48; ei=pen de. auvth/|( VAfe,wntai, sou ai` a`marti,ai, and he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.REM. The redundant o[ti sometimes occurs even before a direct question. Mark 4:21, et al.
John 9:9; evkei/noj e;legen o[ti VEgw, eivmi, he said, I am he.
346. Indirect deliberative questions are sometimes found after e;cw and other similar verbs which do not properly take a question as object The interrogative clause in this case serves the purpose of a relative clause and its antecedent, while retaining the form which shows its origin in a deliberative question.Mark 6:36; i[na . . . avgora,swsin e`autoi/j ti, fa,gwsin, that . . . they may buy themselves somewhat to eat.347. The principles of indirect discourse apply to all subordinate clauses which express indirectly the thoughts of another or of the speaker himself, even when the construction is not strictly that of indirect discourse. HA. 937; G. 1502. See New Testament examples under 258.
Luke 9:58; o` de. ui`o.j tou/ avnqrw,pou ouvk e;cei pou/ th.n kefalh.n kli,nh|, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. See also Matt. 8:20; Mark8:1, 2; Luke 12:17.
348. Both in classical and New Testament Greek, the Imperfect occasionally stands in indirect discourse after a verb of past time as the representative of a Present of the direct discourse, and a Pluperfect as the representative of the Perfect. Thus exceptional Greek usage coincides with regular English usage. HA. 936; G. 1489.John 2:25; auvto.j ga.r evgi,nwsken ti, h=n evn tw/| avnqrw,pw|, for he himself knew what was in man. See also Acts 19:32.349. In classical Greek, o[stij is used in introducing indirect questions. HA. 1011; G. 1600. In the New Testament it is not so employed, but there are a few passages in which it is apparently used as an interrogative pronoun in a direct question.
It is so taken by Mey., B., WH., et at. in Mark 9:11, 28, and by WH. in Mark 2:16. See B. pp. 252 f. ; Th., o[stij, 4; also (contra) WM. p. 208, f.n.; WT. p. 167.
350. The simple relative pronouns and adverbs are sometimes used in indirect questions in the New Testament as in classical Greek. HA. 1011, a; G. 1600; J. 877, Obs. 3; B. pp. 250 f.Luke 8:47; diV h]n aivti,an h[yato auvtou/ avph,ggeilen, she declared for what cause she had touched him. See also Mark 5:19, 20; Acts 14:27; 15:14.351. INDIRECT DISCOURSE IN ENGLISH AND IN GREEK. From what has been said above, it appears that the tense of a verb standing in a clause of indirect discourse in Greek does not express the same relation between the action denoted and the time of speaking as is expressed by a verb of the same tense standing in a principal clause; or, to speak more exactly, does not describe it from the same point of view. A verb in a principal clause views its action from the point of view of the speaker. A verb in an indirect quotation, on the other hand, views its action from the point of view of another person, viz. the original author of the words quoted. It has also appeared that in certain cases the mood of the Greek verb is changed when it is indirectly quoted. Now it is evident that in order to translate the Greek sentence containing a clause of indirect discourse into English correctly and intelligently, we must ascertain what English usage is in respect to the tenses and moods of the verbs of indirect discourse; otherwise we have no principle by which to determine what English tense and mood properly represent a given Greek tense and mood in indirect discourse. Furthermore, since Greek usage has been expressed in terms of the relation between the original utterance and the quotation, it will be expedient to state English usage in the same way. An example will illustrate at the same time the necessity of formulating the law and of formulating it in terms of relation to the direct form.
(1) He has seen a vision. (2) ovptasi,an e`w,raken. (3) They said that he had seen a vision. (4) ei=pon o[ti ovptasi,an e`w,raken.
The sentences marked (1) and (2) express the same idea and employ corresponding tenses. The sentences marked (3) and (4) represent respectively the indirect quotation of (1) and (2) after a verb of past time, and express therefore the same meaning. They do not, however, employ corresponding tenses, the Greek using a Perfect, the English a Pluperfect. It is evident therefore that the principle of indirect discourse is not the same in English as in Greek, and that we cannot translate (4) into (3) by the same principle of equivalence of tenses which we employ in direct assertions. To translate (4) we must first restore (2) by the Greek law of indirect discourse, then translate (2) into (1), and finally by the English law of indirect discourse construct (3) from (1) and the translation of the Greek ei=pon. This process requires the formulation of the law of indirect discourse for English as well as for Greek.
352. English usage in indirect discourse is illustrated in the following examples:
Direct form I see the city. Indirect, after present tense He says that he sees the city. Indirect, after future tense He will say that he sees the city. Indirect, after past tense He said that he saw the city. Direct form . . . . . . . . I saw the city. Indirect, after present tense He says that he saw the city. Indirect, after future tense He will say that he saw the city. Indirect, after past tense He said that he had seen the city. Direct form I shall see the city. Indirect, after present tense He says that he shall see the city. Indirect, after future tense He will say that he shall see the city. Indirect, after past tense He said that he should see the city. Direct form I may see the city. Indirect, after present tense He says that he may see the city. Indirect, after future tense He will say that he may see the city. Indirect, after past tense He said that he might see the city.
From these examples we may deduce the following rule for indirect discourse in English:(a) After verbs of present or future time, the mood and tense of the direct discourse are retained in the indirect discourse.Thus, see becomes saw; saw becomes had seen; shall see becomes should see (the change of mood here is only apparent); may see becomes might see, etc.
(b) After verbs of past time, the mood of the direct discourse is retained, but the tense is changed to that tense which is past relatively to the time of the direct discourse.
REM. In questions and in conditional clauses a Present Indicative of the direct form may become a Past Subjunctive in indirect quotation after a verb of past time. See Luke 3:15; Acts 10:18; 20:17, E.V.
353. Comparing this with the Greek rule, we may deduce the following principles for the translation into English of clauses of indirect discourse in Greek:(a) When the quotation is introduced by a verb of present or future time, translate the verbs of the indirect discourse by the same forms which would be used in ordinary direct discourse.354. The statement of English usage in indirect discourse is presented in the form adopted above for the sake of brevity and convenience of application. It is, however, rather a formula than a statement which represents the process of thought. In order to apprehend clearly the difference between English and Greek usage it must be recognized that certain English tenses have, not like the Greek tenses a two-fold function, but a three-fold. They mark (1)the temporal relation of the point of view from which the action is described to the time of speaking; (2) the temporal relation of the action described to this point of view; (3) the conception of the action as respects its progress. Thus in the sentence, I had been reading, (1) the point of view from which the act of reading is viewed is past, (2) the action itself is previous to that point of view, and (3) it is viewed as in progress. He will not go is a Future from a present point of view presenting the action as a simple event. In the sentence, When he came, I was reading, I was reading would be more accurately described as a Present progressive from a past point of view, than as a Past progressive from a present point of view. In other instances the same form might be a Past from a present point of view. These triple-function tenses have perhaps their chief use in English in indirect discourse, but are used also in direct discourse. Many of them are derived by the process of composition, out of which so many English tenses have arisen, from verb-forms which originally had only the two-fold function, but their existence in modern English is none the less clearly established. Professor W. G. Hale1 in A.J.P., vol. viii. pp. 66 ff., has set forth the similar three-fold function of the Latin tenses in the Indicative Mood. But it should be noticed that the English has developed this three-fold function more clearly even than the Latin. For example, the antecedence of an action to a past point of view is in Latin only implied in the assertion of its completeness at that past point of time. But in English this antecedence may be affirmed without affirming the completeness of the act.
(b) When the quotation is introduced by a verb of past time, if there are Optatives which represent Indicatives or Subjunctives of the direct discourse, first restore in thought these Indicatives or Subjunctives, then translate each Greek verb by that English verb which is relatively past to that which would correctly translate the same verb standing in direct discourse.
Bearing in mind this three-fold function of certain English tenses, the difference between Greek and English usage in indirect discourse may be stated comprehensively as follows:
The Greek, while adopting in indirect discourse the point of view of the person quoting as respects the person of verbs and pronouns, and while sometimes after a verb of past time marking the dependent character of the statement by the use of the Optative in place of an Indicative or Subjunctive of the original statement, yet as respects tense, regularly carries over into the indirect discourse the point of view of the original statement, treating it as if it were still present. What was present to the original speaker is still treated from his point of view, as present; what was past, as past; what was future, as future.
In English, on the other hand, in quoting a past utterance, the fact that it is past is not only indicated by the past tense of the verb which introduces the quotation, but still further by the employment of a tense in the quotation which marks the point of view from which the act is looked at as past. Thus in Greek a prediction expressed originally by a Future tense, when afterward quoted after a verb of past time, is still expressed by a Future, the act being viewed as future from the assumed point of view, and this point of view being treated as present or its character as past being ignored. But in English such a prediction is expressed by a Past-future, i.e. by the English tense which describes an action as future from a past point of view. Thus in quoting o;yomai, I shall see, in indirect discourse, one says in Greek, ei=pen o[ti o;yetai; but in English, he said that he should see. Similarly, a statement made originally by the Perfect tense, when quoted after a verb of past time is still expressed by a Perfect tense in Greek, but in English by a Pluperfect. Thus h`ma,rthka, I have sinned; ei=pen o[ti h`ma,rthken, he said that he had sinned.
When we pass to quotations after verbs of present time, the usages of the two languages naturally coincide, since the difference between the point of view of the original utterance and the quotation, which in English gave rise to a change of tense not however made in Greek, disappears. The point of view of the original statement is in both languages retained and treated as present, because it is present. Thus evleu,somai, I shall come, requires only a change of person in quotation after a verb of present time, le,gei o[ti evleu,setai, he says that he shall come.
It might naturally be anticipated that in quotations after verbs of future time, where again the time of the original statement differs from that of the quotation, there would arise a difference of usage between English and Greek. Such however is not the case. What the Greek does after a verb of past time, the English as well as the Greek does after a verb of future time, viz. treats the point of view of the original utterance as present. Thus let us suppose the case of one predicting what a person just now departing will say when he returns. He has not yet seen anything, but it is imagined that when he returns he will say, I have seen all things. The assertion of this by he will say, takes the form he will say that he has seen all things; just as in Greek one quoting e`w,raka pa,nta/ after evrei says evrei/ o;ti e`w,rakan pa,nta. Thus the person quoting does not describe the event from his own point of view — this would require he will see, nor does he mark the fact that the point of view of the utterance is different from his own — this would require he will have seen; but treats the point of view of the person whose expected language he quotes in advance, as if it were present. Thus while the Greek is consistent in simply adopting the conceived point of view of the future statement, the English departs from the principle which it follows after past tenses, and follows here the same method as the Greek.
355. These facts enable us to see that it would be incorrect to say that the tense of the direct discourse is in Greek determined from the point of view of the original speaker, in English from the point of view of the person who makes the quotation. The correct statement is that in both languages the act is looked at from the point of view of the original speaker, but that the two languages differ somewhat in their method of indicating the relation of this point of view to the time of the quotation. This difference, however, pertains only to quotations whose point of view is past. Its precise nature has already been stated (354). When the point of view is present or future the usage of the two languages is identical.
356. The comparison of English and Greek usage may be reduced to articulated statement as follows: English usage is like Greek usage in three respects, and different in two respects.I. It is like Greek in that,1Professor Hale’s article furnished the suggestion for the view of the English tenses presented here.(a) It adapts the person of the pronouns and verbs of the original utterance to the point of view of the quoter.II. It differs from Greek in that,
(b) It looks at the act described in the quotation from the point of view of the original statement.
(c) After a verb of present or future time this point of view of the original utterance is treated in the quotation as present, as after verbs of present time it is in fact.(a) While it looks at the act from the point of view of the original statement, if that point of view is past it designates it as past, using a tense which describes the action from a past point of view. A Past of the original utterance becomes in the quotation a Past-past; a Future becomes a Past-future, etc. This the Greek does not do, having in general no tense which has this double temporal power.
(b) It does not as a rule change the original mood of the verb in quotation. Most apparent changes of mood, such as will to would, are changes of tense. But cf. 352, Rem.