2

"Li diris ke mi estu kvieta" implies that he said that I ought to be be quiet (a suggestion/desire/implicit command).
"Li diris ke mi devas esti kvieta" means that he said that I must be quiet (a mandate).
What would "Li diris ke mi devus esti kvieta" mean/imply, in comparison to the previous two? That I should be quiet, but not necessarily in the sense of an implied command or desire?

Current understanding

  • "Li diris ke mi estu kvieta" - A suggestion or desire that I should be quiet.
    • e.g. "Mi ludis violonon kiam li estis studanta, tial li diris ke mi estu kvieta."
    • Actually, now that I look at it, I think "diris" is incorrect here, as the following "esti" would not be subjunctive. I suppose it could be "volis" instead.
  • "Li diris ke mi devas esti kvieta" - An obligatory action imposed upon me.
    • e.g. "Ni estis promenanta tra la tombejo, tial li diris ke mi devas esti kvieta."
  • "Li diris ke mi devus esti kvieta" - A statement implying that I am currently not quiet, but should be.
    • e.g. "Ni estis kaŝiĝanta ĉirkaŭe la sekreta bazo, tial li diris ke mi devus esti kvieta."
1

I understand the difference between devas and u-modo to be that of external and internal obligation (cf. ändern/verändern in German or ändra/förändra in Swedish). Mona the Monad already stated:

Li diris, ke mi devas esti kvieta : an obligatory action imposed upon me

Li diris, ke mi estu kvieta : a suggestion or desire that I should be quiet; it is in my own interest to be quiet

In contrast the us-modo or imaga modo in Esperanto is used to express a condition:

  • Kvankam mi venkus en la loterio, mi ne lasus mian laboron.

PMEG stresses, that the action must be imaginary, i.e. the winning in the sentence above is only imagined. Imaga modo should not be used, if the situation can be real.

  • Se li estus ĉi tie, li certe mirus pri la malordo : It is known, that he isn't here, but if one would imagine him to be here, he would be amazed.

  • Se li estas ĉi tie, li certe miras pri la malordo : It is not known, whether he is here or not, but if he is, he would/will be amazed.

Note, that other languages may use, what they call conditional mood, in both cases. This one of the reasons PMEG avoids using traditional terminology and speaks about different modes (reala modo, imaga modo etc.).

The verb forms devus, povus and volus sometimes express a real obligation or request to do something, but the imaginary aspect reveals, that the action of the other verb is currently not in progress (for further info see PMEG).

  • Mi devus labori : there is an obligation for me to work, but I'm not currently working

  • Mi povus foriri : I could leave, but I stay at least for now

  • Mi volus helpi al vi : I do want to help you, but for some reason I don't – at least right now

The us-modo doesn't express time, i.e. it can also be used for past events. Therefore

  • Li diris, ke mi devus esti kvieta : He said, that I should have been quiet (but I wasn't).

Having said that it's better to the simple -is tense, if the context clearly shows, that the action could have happened, but didn't actually happen.

  • Mi volis lin bati, sed li forkuris de mi : I would have wanted to hit him, but he ran away.
|improve this answer|||||
  • Vi pravas. Mi reskribis mian respondon. – Juha Metsäkallas Mar 28 at 16:36
  • Ĝi estas multe pli utila nun. Dankon! – das-g Mar 28 at 17:45
0
Li diris, ke mi devas esti kvieta por vidi la sciurojn en la arboj.
Li diris, ke mi devas esti kvieta por ke ni vidu la sciurojn en la arboj.
Li diris, ke mi estu kvieta por vidi la sciurojn en la arboj.
Li diris, ke mi estu kvieta por ke ni vidu la sciurojn en la arboj.

The first two sentences just tell the condition for seeing squirrels in the trees. The last two sentences wants me to be quiet in order to see the squirrels.

Li diris, ke mi devus esti kvieta por vidi la sciurojn en la arboj.
Li diris, ke mi devus esti kvieta por ke ni vidu la sciurojn en la arboj.

I should be quiet in order to see the squirrels. No implied command, conditional mode on a condition. Assuming no realisation.

The estu kvieta is the normal conversational tone.

|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.