LESSON L: The Infinitive In Indirect Discourse

466. Learn the conjugation of the present and imperfect indicative of φημί, say.

Present Active Indicative of φημί, say
First Person Singularφημί
Second Person Singularφῄς or φής
Third Person Singularφησί
Second Person Dualφατόν
Third Person Dualφατόν
First Person Pluralφαμέν
Second Person Pluralφατέ
Third Person Pluralφᾱσί
Imperfect Active Indicative of φημί, say
First Person Singularἔφην
Second Person Singularἔφησθα or ἔφης
Third Person Singularἔφη
Second Person Dualἔφατον
Third Person Dualἐφάτην
First Person Pluralἔφαμεν
Second Person Pluralἔφατε
Third Person Pluralἔφασαν

467. All the forms of the present indicative of φημί are enclitic except φῄς. Review 168, 169.

The Infinitive in Indirect Discourse

469. The infinitive in indirect discourse is generally the object of a verb of saying or thinking, or some equivalent expression. Here each tense of the infinitive corresponds in time to the same tense of some finite mood.

468. In all the examples below, the infinitive is the object of the principal verb, but in the first two it represents the words of an original speaker and its tense corresponds in time to the same tense of the indicative (the speaker says: Κλέαρχος ἡγεῖται, ταῦτα ἐποίησαν); whereas in the last two examples, where the infinitive is the object of a simple verb of commanding, as explained in 461, this distinction of tense does not exist, but both ἡγεῖσθαι and ποιῆσαι refer to the future.

1. φησὶ Κλέαρχον ἡγεῖσθαι, he says that Clearchus is leading.

2. φησὶν ὑμᾶς ταῦτα ποιῆσαι, he says that you did this.

3. κελεύει Κλέαρχον ἡγεῖσθαι, he orders Clearchus to lead.

4. κελεύει ὑμᾶς ταῦτα ποιῆσαι, he bids you do this.

The Infinitive Following ὥστε, so that and πρίν, before.

471. The infinitive may follow ὥστε, so that, expressing result, and πρίν, before.

470. For example:

1. κραυγὴν ἐποίουν, ὥστε τοὺς πολεμίους ἀκούειν, they made a great noise, so that the enemy heard them.

2. ἀφιππεύει πρὶν τοὺς ἄλλους ἀφικνεῖσθαι, he rides off before the rest arrive.


858. Adjectives and adverbs of the comparative degree take the genitive (without ἤ, than). Thus, κακίους τῶν ἄλλων, more cowardly than the rest, θᾶττον τῶν ἵππων ἔτρεχον, they ran more swiftly than the horses.

860. Certain intransitive verbs take the dative, many of which in English may have a direct object without to. The verbs of this class which are not translated with to in English are chiefly those signifying to benefit, serve, obey, defend, assist, please, trust, satisfy, advise, exhort, or any of their opposites; also those expressing friendliness, hostility, blame, abuse, reproach, envy, anger, threats. Thus, οἱ πρόσθεν ἡμῖν βοηθήσαντες, those who have previously helped us, πείθεται τῷ στρατηγῷ, he obeys his commander, πιστεύουσι τῷ Κύρῳ, they trust Cyrus, παρεκελεύοντο ἀλλήλοις, they exhorted one another, ὠργίζοντο ἰσχῡρῶς τῷ Κλεάρχῳ, they were excessively angry with Clearchus.

866. The dative is used to denote cause, manner, and means or instrument. Thus, φιλίᾳ καὶ εὐνοίᾳ ἐβοήθουν αὐτῷ, they helped him because of their friendship and good will, πορεύονται κύκλῳ, they advance in a circle, αὐτοὺς φοβοῦσι τῇ κραυγῇ, they frighten them by their uproar, diabaqinoysi πλοίοις, they cross in boats, βούλεται ἡμῖν χρῆσθαι, he wishes to use (i.e. serve himself by) us, γένει προσήκει βασιλεῖ, in family he is related to the king.


αὐτίκαadv., immediately, forthwith.
γένος, ους, τόfamily, race.
γίγνομαι (γεν), γενήσομαι, ἐγενόμην, γέγονα, γεγένημαι (cf. γένος)be born, become, prove oneself to be.
δῆλος, η, ον (cf. δηλόω)plain, evident, manifest.
conj., or; ἢ . . . ἤ, either . . . or.
ὁμολογέω, ὁμολογήσω etc., confess.
ὀργίζομαι (ὀργιδ), ὀργιοῦμαι, etc. (cf. ὀργή)be angry.
πρίνconj., before, until.
πρόθῦμος, ονready, eager.
προσ-ήκωhave come to, be related to.
στρατόπεδον, ου, τόcamp.
ταχέως (cf. τάχα)adv., quickly.
φημί (φα), φήσω, ἔφησαsay, declare, state, affirm.


1. οἱ δὲ ἄλλοι φᾱσὶ βουλεύσεσθαι.
2. τοξευθῆναι Ἕλληνα ἔφη ἐπὶ τῷ δεξιῷ.
3. ἐμοὶ δέ φησι φίλος καὶ πιστὸς γενήσεσθαι.
4. Ξενοφῶντι1 ὠργίζοντο, νομίζοντες ἀδικηθῆναι ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ.
5. φημὶ δὴ ἢ νῑκᾶν δεήσειν ἢ ἡττᾶσθαι.
6. ἐνομίζομεν αὐτίκα ἥξειν αὐτοὺς ἐπὶ τὸ στρατόπεδον.
7. ὁμολογεῖς οὖν περὶ ἐμὲ ἄδικος γεγενῆσθαι;
8. ἔφασαν δὲ τοῦτον τὸν Πέρσην γένει2 προσήκειν τῷ Ἀρταξέρξῃ.
9. πάντας οὕτω δώροις ἐτίμᾱ ὥστε αὐτῷ μᾶλλον φίλους εἶναι ἢ τῷ ἀδελφῷ.
10. πρόθῡμοί ἐσμεν ταχέως πορεύσθαι πρὶν δῆλον εἶναι τί οἱ ἄλλοι Ἕλληνες ποιήσουσι.

NOTES.—1 The dative follows verbs expressing anger (860).—2 in race, a dative of respect, which is a form of the dative of manner (866).—3 They said, Κῦρος φιλεῖται.—4 The person’s thought was, “The Lacedaemonians will take,” etc.

475. Cyrus makes a Successful Appeal to Clearchus.

“Κλέαρχε καὶ Πρόξενε καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι Ἕλληνες, τί ποιεῖτε; εἰ γάρ τινα ἀλλήλοις μάχην συνάψετε, νομίζετε ἐν τῇδε τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐμέ τε κατακεκόψεσθαι καὶ ὑμᾶς οὐ πολὺ ἐμοῦ ὕστερον· ἐὰν γὰρ τὰ ἡμέτερα κακῶς ἔχῃ, πάντες οὗτοι οἱ βάρβαροι πολέμιοι ἡμῖν ἔσονται.” Κλέαρχος δὲ ἐπεὶ ἤκουσε ταῦτα ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἐγένετο, καὶ ἐπαύσαντο ἀμφότεροι τῆς ὀργῆς.

NOTES.— 3. κατακεκόψεσθαι: future perfect infinitive in indirect discourse, shall have been cut to pieces, shall be instantly cut to pieces.— οὐ πολύ: not long.— 4. ἐμοῦ ὕστερον: after me. Adverbs of the comparative degree take the genitive (858).— 6. ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἐγένετο: came to himself, recovered his senses.