(This writeup also covers briefly indirect statements in Latin)
An Indirect Statement is one which English calls a noun clause. Noun clauses in English are a type of subordinate clause which act as a noun (note their name). Indirect statements are introduced by the word "that" (also a relative pronoun). Here is an example of a noun clause:
"That you do not love me causes me pain." The subject of this sentence is "that you do not love me," and the verb is causes. As a direct object: "I heard that the slaves will be freed." Subject is I, and the verb "heard," and the object is "that the slaves will be freed." In English, indirect statements are a peice of cake, because we can simply introduce the clause with "that," and then form a normal sentence to finish the clause.
Below is syntax for Latin:
Indirect statements in Latin can be quite a challenge if one has not had much practice with them; they are not introduced with a key word (such as "that" in English), but they have a few unique quirks about them that can make them stand out: The verb of an indirect statement is an infinitive, and the subject of the clause is in the Accusative case. The tense of an indirect statement is relative to that of the main clause. These clauses have three tenses (for the infinitives): Present, Perfect, and Future. The present tense in the infinitive of the clause indicates that the verb of the clause is occuring at the same timeas the verb of the main clause. ie:
Eam venire dixi, I said that she came. Note how the main verb is perfect tense, and how the indirect statement's verb is the same. If the infinitive were perfect, Eam venisse dixi, I said that she had come, then the clause's verb would have to occur before the main verb, and so we move "back in time" to the pluperfect, or past perfect, if you will. The same pattern follows for infinitives of the future tense: Eam ventura esse dixi, I said that she would come. Note the future infinitive. When translating these clauses, one important thing one must note is that when translating a future infinitive, if the main clause's tense were present, the translation would be "I verb that she will come," as opposed to "would come". The word "would" should only be used when translating with a main verb in the imperfect/perfect tense.