Indirect speech

Latin uses a particular construction for indirect speech. The subject of the indirect statement is put into the accusative, as if it were the object of the sentence, and the verb is put into the infinitive. English almost never uses this construction. Instead, English usually uses the word that to indicate indicate indirect speech. Consider the indirect statement

She says that he loves another.

versus the direct speech

She says, “He loves another!”

English can also go ahead and drop out that altogether.

He told her he loves another.
She thinks he is horrid.

In these cases, indirect speech can be hard to distinguish from direct speech. Only punctuation marks the difference. This can create ambiguities in spoken speech.

He told her he loves another.
He told her, “He loves another.”

But this may be more of a problem with English pronouns, specifically the shortage of reflexive pronouns.

A small set of indirect statements can be rendered using the accusative-infinitive construction in English, but they are rare and rather stilted.

She believes him to love her.
He considers her to be beautiful.
He thinks me to be a fool.

In these cases the verb to be can often be dropped out.

He considers her beautiful
He thinks me a fool.

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