I only know to say the "there is/are" in latin we use "est/sunt" , but how about when it is part of indirect speech?


" He/she said that there is (something) "

I'm confuse because it uses "esse" and I think that is little ambigous and I don't know how to construct it with grammatical accuracy.

1 Answer 1


'There is'/'there are' in indirect speech is just esse, as in this passage from Pliny the Younger's letters (1.11.1):

at hoc ipsum scribe, nihil esse quod scribas, vel solum illud unde incipere priores solebant: 'si vales, bene est; ego valeo.'

Yet write this very thing, that there is nothing....

In indirect speech, there's always some risk of a loss of accuracy or introduction of ambiguity. For example, distinctions between the different past tenses (perfect vs. imperfect vs. pluperfect) become lost, all being replaced by a simple perfect infinitive, and 3rd person reflexive pronouns (se, sibi, etc.) might refer to the subject of the main sentence or to the subject of the indirect statement.

  • I agree indirect speech is more ambigous especially when we add adjectives e.g " fortem virum esse dixit " but I think it's all depends on the contexts.
    – Vince
    Mar 31, 2021 at 23:33

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