justerman wrote:Thanks for replying at length Rhodopeius. I now understand why the subjunctive.
Your explanation for the imperfect doesn't sit well with what I had previously understood, so let me play it back.
I had understood that the tense within the indirect statement should follow from that of the original statement. So if the original speech was:
Qualis cuiusque animi adfectus est, talis homo est ,
then both verbs should retain the present tense when expressed indirectly.
However, you say that the tense within the dependent clause should agree with that of the verb introducing the indirect statement (disserebat).
I am wrong?
The main clause of the indirect statement is always an accusative + infinitive construction, with the time of the infinitive being relative to that of the independent clause's verb (i.e. perfect infinitive shows time anterior to the independent clause, future infinitive time posterior, present infinitive time contemporaneous). However, when an indirect statement has a subordinate clause of its own (the "qu" half of coordinate constructions like tam...quam, talis...qualis, etc.
is technically subordinate) you don't use another accusative + infinitive construction, but rather the subjunctive, which must, as always*, follow the sequence of tenses. Therefore, if the independent clause has a verb with secondary tense, the subordinate verb must be either imperfect subjunctive (time contemporaneous or posterior) or pluperfect subjunctive (time anterior). In certain instances, such as indirect questions, you could also use the active periphrastic (future participle + sum
) in the imperfect subjunctive to show time posterior.
*well, almost always, anyway.