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Table of contents Chapter 22 22.3 Consecutio temporum in general ...

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Chapter 22: Reported speech and consecutio temporum

  22.3 Consecutio temporum in general and reported speech

Some of you might have noticed that the reported speech in Spanish is a special case of the consecutio temporum in general. With the present tenses, the rules of use of tenses are valid as described in chapter 6. If the introductory clause (or only verb) is in past tense the same rules apply for the reported speech as for consecutio temporum. Let's have look.

  Example for action before mental involvement
Dijo:"He comprado pan."
He said, "I have bought bread."
Spanish: Dijo que había comprado pan.
English: He said he had bought bread.

explanation I (consecutio temporum): The introductory verb is past tense (indefinido: Dijo). The action is before the mental involvement, the rule says to use past perfect (plusquamperfecto).

explanation II (reported speech): The introductory clause is past tense (indefinido: Dijo). The rules for reported speech say that pretérito perfecto turns to plusquamperfecto.

result: explanation I and explanation II have the same result.

 
  Example for action after mental involvement
Dijo:"Voy a comprar pan."
He said, "I'm going to buy bread."
Spanish: Dijo que compraría pan.
English: He said that he would buy bread.

explanation I (consecutio temporum): The introductory verb is in past tense (indefinido: Dijo). The action is after the point of time of mental involvement. The rules say to use condicional simple.

explanation II (reported speech): The introductory clause is past tense (indefinido: Dijo). The rules for reported speech say that future I turns to condicional.

result: explanation I and explanation II lead to the same result


  Example for action at the same time as mental involvement
Dijo:"Estoy cansado."
He said, "I'm tired."
Spanish: Dijo que estaba cansado.
English: He said that he was tired.
explanation I: The introductory verb is past tense (indefinido: Dijo). The action is at the same time as the mental involvement, the rule says to use simple past (imperfecto).

explanation II: The introductory clause is past tense (indefinido: Dijo). The rules for reported speech say that presente turns to imperfecto.

result: explanation I and explanation II have the same result.


  Introductory verb requires indicativo vs. subjuntivo

In chapter 9.6 we already had a look at consecutio temporum in relation to subjuntivo. Please be reminded that some verbs require the subjuntivo (e.g. temer = to fear, to be afraid, querer = to want, exigir = to demand, esperar = to hope). The subjuntivo is then to be used in the tense according to the rules of consecutio temporum (or as you like the reported speech). Just have a look at this overview.


   tenses
  verb of mental involvement

action is ... the mental involvement
  verlangt den
before
same time
  after
presente
pretérito perfecto
futuro imperfecto
futuro perfecto
gerundio
imperativo
  subjuntivo
temer
querer
insistir
esperar

etc.

perfecto de subjuntivo
Yo espero/he esperado/esperaré que haya venido.

presente de subjuntivo
Yo espero/he esperado/esperaré que venga.

  presente de subjuntivo
Yo espero/he esperado/esperaré que venga

  indicativo
saber
creer
suponer
presumir

etc.
rules of chapter 6 are valid
pretérito imperfecto
pretérito indefinido
pretérito plusquamperfecto
pretérito anterior
  subjuntivo
temer
querer
insistir
esperar

etc.
pluscuamperfecto de subjuntivo
Yo esperé/esperaba que hubiera venido

imperfecto de subjuntivo
Yo esperé/esperaba que viniera

  imperfecto de subjuntivo
Yo esperé/esperaba que viniera

  indicativo
saber
creer
suponer
presumir

etc.

pluscuamperfecto
yo creí / creía que había venido


imperfecto
yo creí / creía que venía

 
condicional
yo creí / creía que vendría


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