1%homeless wrote:The rules don't really make much sense in indirect statements. There are three translations that don't make sense to me.
The present infinitive is supposed to be in the same time as the main verb, but in Wheelock's book, it seems to retain the present tense when the main verb is in the future tense.
I can see where your confusion is.
Dicent eum iuvare eam.
If I follow the rule strictly, this sentence is supposed to be translated as: They will say that he will help her.
But of course Wheelock puts the infinitive in the present tense:
They will say that he is helping her.
"Same time infinitive" does not necessarily mean that you have to translate it in the same tense. In the sentence "They will say that he will
help her", it sounds like they are going to help her in the future relative to their saying it. In the sentence "They will say that he is
helping her", they don't mean he is helping her at the present, but at the time of saying it which is in the future. In English, when the main verb is in a certain tense and the relative verb is in the future, we usually "add" the tenses, and so future+future equals future in relation to future. It is usually best to translate the same-time (present) infinitives you encounter into English present tenses, but understand it means at the time of the main verb and not as the present "now".
Also, the perfect infinitive is weird with the main verb in the future tense.
Dicent eum iuvisse eam.
They will say that he helped her.
My translation: They will say that he is helping her.
Try putting your English into direct speech: They will say
, "He is
helping her". You can see that your translation into "is" is making the indirect speech same-time when it should be past. If it helps, just translate directly into English "They will say him to have helped her", and then you can smooth it out afterwards.
Again quoting Wheelock's book: "the perfect infinitive indicates time before that of the main verb (=prior infinitive.)"
I thought the present tense is before the future tense and not the perfect tense? Now we're skipping tenses?
The relative infinitives do not simply move the tense up or down the sequence of tenses; they express whether the speaker is addressing an action before, after, or during their own time; you must find the words that accurately express this in English. You seem to be worried too much about the formula for shifting the time, but it just means that what is being said (felt, seen, judged, etc) will occur before, during, or after the actual saying of it - it does not necessarily mean that you will translate the relative tenses in the same way every time.
I think this is the last main verb + infinitive combo that doesn't make sense:
Dixerunt eum iuturum esse eam.
They said that he would help her.
My translation: They said that he is helping her.
Translate it indirectly: "They said him to be about to help her". "They said that he is helping her" places the "helping" in the present, which is a little bit further than a mere future in relation to past. If there is any confusion with the word "would", it is a past tense of "will", so really they translated it as "They said the he will (from their perspective) help her".
The tense after the perfect is present tense right? Again, we seem to skip tenses with the future infinitive, but of course when the main verb is in the present tense, it doesn't skip tenses...????
This has proven more difficult to explain than I thought. It didn't really confuse me that much when we did it, but I am not sure I have succeeded in expressing my thoughts, because I can't quite put my finger on them.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae