"Did he tell the police that he was guilty?"
Translation:Ĉu li diris al la polico, ke li estas kulpa?
I'm confused here, too. Perhaps I just need to review the notes, but I thought (estis / was) should be the correct answer?
Wouldn't this be "estis" or "estu"?
Why is it in present?
In Esperanto the verb in indirect speech has the same tense as it would have in direct speech.
Here you would say directly: “Ĉu li diris al la polico: ‘Mi estas kulpa.’?”, therefore you must use the present tense in indirect speech: “Ĉu li diris al la polico, ke li estas kulpa?”.
You would get ‘estu’ only when it is a wish or demand or similar. For instance: “Mi deziras, ke vi estu diligenta.”; Directly you would say: “Mi deziras: vi estu diligenta.”.
ActualGoat, that is not definite from the sentence. He conceivably could've been telling the police he was guilty of being a harsh parent to his children, but has since made amends. Of course, your interpretation would be more natural, but it should not be considered exclusive. Right?
Indirect speech should always have the same tense as direct speech in Esperato, so it's estas, not estis, despite the fact that English uses the past tense.
I interpreted this sentence as him confessing his OWN guilt to the police. Why isn't "ke si estas kulpa" an acceptable answer?
Because si is a reflexive pronoun. That means that it refers back to the subject. Whence it cannot be part of the subject of any sentence. One should understand from the sentence that it is his own guilt he is confessing. (You don't really confess someone else's guilt anyway, but you rather report them etc.)
I don't think you understood my question; I attempted to use si as you said, reflexively. Thus I think the following sentence should be accepted: "Ĉu li diris al la polico, ke Si estas kulpa?" But that answer is not accepted.
In the subordinate clause ke si estas kulpa, si is the subject. As I mentioned, si cannot be the subject, as it refers back to the subject. It never happens that si refers back a subject of another clause. So it does not refer back to li in the main clause Ĉu li diris al la polico?. Therefore, one must use li as a subject in the subordinate clause and so your sentence with si should not be accepted and is grammatically incorrect. Hopefully this clears things up :).
okay, thanks. So i guess there is no grammatical quick-fix for the subject from the subordinate clause to unequivocally identify with the subject from the main clause...
Indeed, there is not. However, most of the time it is just clear from the context. I never encountered it as an issue either.