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2289. Conditional sentences may be classified according to form or function (i.e. with reference to their meaning). Classified according to form, all conditional sentences may be arranged with regard to the form of the protasis or of the apodosis.

Protasis: εἰ with the indicative.

ἐά_ν (rarely εἰ) with the subjunctive.

εἰ with the optative.

Apodosis: with ἄν, denoting what would (should) be or have been.

without ἄν, not denoting what would (should) be or have been.


2290. Greek possesses a great variety of ways to join protasis and apodosis, but certain types, as in English, are more common than others and have clear and distinct meanings. In the case of some of the less usual types the exact shade of difference cannot be accurately known to us; as indeed to the Greeks themselves they were often used with no essential difference from the conventional types. In the following classification only the ordinary forms are given.


2291. This is the only functional distinction that characterizes all conditional sentences. Here are included also 2292, 2295, 2296.

1. Present

Protasis: a primary tense of the indicative.

Apodosis: any form of the simple sentence.

εἰ ταῦτα ποιεῖς, καλῶς ποιεῖς if you do this, you do well.

2. Past

Protasis: a secondary tense of the indicative.

Apodosis: any form of the simple sentence.

εἰ ταῦτα ἐποίεις, καλῶς ἐποίεις if you were doing this, you were doing well, εἰ ταῦτα ἐποίησας, καλῶς ἐποίησας if you did this, you did well.

3. Future

a. Protasis: ἐά_ν with the subjunctive.

Apodosis: any form expressing future time.

ἐὰ_ν ταῦτα ποιῇς (ποιήσῃς), καλῶς ποιήσεις if you do this, you will do well.

b. Protasis: εἰ with the future indicative.

Apodosis: any form expressing future time.

εἰ ταῦτα ποιήσεις, πείσει if you do this, you will suffer for it.

c. Protasis: εἰ with the optative.

Apodosis: ἄν with the optative.

εἰ ταῦτα ποιοίης (ποιήσειας), καλῶς ἂν ποιοίης (ποιήσειας) if you should (were to) do this, you would do well.

According to Fulfilment or Non-fulfilment

2292. Only one class of conditional sentences distinctly expresses non-fulfilment of the action.

1. Present or Past

Protasis: εἰ with the imperfect indicative.

Apodosis: ἄν with the imperfect indicative.

εἰ ταῦτα ἐποίεις, καλῶς ἂν ἐποίεις if you were (now) doing this, you would be doing well; if you had been doing this, you would have been doing well.

2. Past

Protasis: εἰ with the aorist indicative.

Apodosis: ἄν with the aorist indicative.

εἰ ταῦτα ἐποίησας, καλῶς ἂν ἐποίησας if you had done this, you would have done well.

N.—Greek has no special forms to show that an action is or was fulfilled, however clearly this may be implied by the context. Any form of conditional sentence in which the apodosis does not express a rule of action may refer to an impossibility.

According to Particular or General Conditions

2293. A particular condition refers to a definite act or to several definite acts occurring at a definite time or at definite times.

2294. A general condition refers to any one of a series of acts that may occur or may have occurred at any time.

2295. General conditions are distinguished from particular conditions only in present and past time, and then only when there is no implication as to the fulfilment of the action. General conditions have no obligatory form, as any form of condition may refer to a rule of action or to a particular act; but there are two common types of construction:

1. Present

Protasis: ἐά_ν with the subjunctive.

Apodosis: present indicative.

ἐὰ_ν ταῦτα ποιῇς (ποιήσῃς), σὲ ἐπαινῶ if ever you do this, I always praise you.

2. Past

Protasis: εἰ with the optative.

Apodosis: imperfect indicative.

εἰ ταῦτα ποιοίης (ποιήσειας), σὲ ἐπῄνουν if ever you did this, I always praised you.

2296. But equally possible, though less common, are:

εἰ ταῦτα ποιεῖς, σὲ ἐπαινῶ and εἰ ταῦτα ἐποίεις, σὲ ἐπῄνουν.


2297. In this Grammar the ordinary types of conditional sentences are classified primarily according to time. The Homeric and other more usual variations from the ordinary forms are mentioned under each class, the less usual Attic variations are mentioned in 2355 ff. The following table shows the common usage:

Simpleει᾽ with present or perfectpresent or perfect indic-
indicativeative or equivalent
Unrealει᾽ with imperfect indicativeimperfect indicative with
Generalἐά_ν with subjunctivepresent indicative or
Simpleει᾽ with imperfect, aorist, orimperfect, aorist, or plu-
pluperfect indicativeperfect indicative
Unrealει᾽ with aorist or imperfectaorist or imperfect indic-
PASTindicativeative with ἄν
Generalει᾽ with optativeimperfect indicative or
More Vividἐά_ν with subjunctivefut. indic. or equivalent
FUTUREEmotionalει᾽ with future indicativefut. indic. or equivalent
Less Vividει᾽ with optativeἄν with optative



2298. Simple present or past conditions simply state a supposition with no implication as to its reality or probability. The protasis has the indicative, the apodosis has commonly the indicative, but also any other form of the simple sentence appropriate to the thought.

εἰ ταῦτα ποιεῖς, καλῶς ποιεῖς if you do this, you do well.

εἰ ταῦτα ἐποίησας, καλῶς ἐποίησας if you did this, you did well.

a. This form of condition corresponds to the logical formula if this is so, then that is so; if this is not so, then that is not so; if A = B, then C = D. The truth of the conclusion depends solely on the truth of the condition, which is not implied in any way. In these conditions something is supposed to be true only in order to draw the consequence that something else is true.

b. The conditional clause may express what the writer knows is physically impossible. Even when the supposition is true according to the real opinion of the writer, this form of condition is employed. In such cases εἴπερ is often used for εἰ. Both εἰ and εἴπερ sometimes have a causal force (2246); cp. si quidem and quia.

c. The simple condition is particular or general. When the protasis has εἴ τις and the apodosis a present indicative, the simple condition has a double meaning referring both to an individual case and to a rule of action. When a present general condition is distinctly expressed, ἐά_ν with the subjunctive is used (2337.)

2299. There are many possible combinations of present and past conditions with different forms of the protasis and apodosis. Protasis and apodosis may be in different tenses, and present and future may be combined.

2300. The apodosis may be the simple indicative or any other form of the simple sentence appropriate to the thought.

a. Simple Indicative: εἰ τοῦτ᾽ ἔχει καλῶς, ἐκεῖνο αἰσχρῶς if this is excellent, that is disgraceful Aes. 3.188, εἰ μὲν (Ἀσκληπιὸς) ““θεοῦ ἦν, οὐκ ἦν αἰσχροκερδής: εἰ δ᾽ αἰσχροκερδής, οὐκ ἦν θεοῦif Asclepius was the son of a god, he was not covetous; if he was covetous, he was not the son of a godP. R. 408c, εἴ τέ τι ἄλλο . . . ἐγένετο ἐπικίνδυ_νον τοῖς Ἕλλησι, πάντων . . . μετέσχομεν and if any other danger befell the Greeks, we took our share in all T. 3.54, ““ καλὸν . . . τέχνημα ἄρα κέκτησαι, εἴπερ κέκτησαιin truth you do possess a noble art, if indeed you do possess itP. Pr. 319a, εἴπερ γε Δα_ρείου . . . ἐστι παῖς . . . , οὐκ ἀμαχεὶ ταῦτ᾽ ἐγὼ λήψομαι if indeed he is a son of Darius, I shall not gain this without a battle X. A. 1.7.9, Κλέαρχος εἰ παρὰ τοὺς ὅρκους ἔλυ_ε τὰ_ς σπονδά_ς, τὴν δίκην ἔχει assuming that Clearchus broke the truce contrary to his oath, he has his deserts 2. 5. 41, εἰ δὲ δύο ἐξ ἑνὸς ἀγῶνος γεγένησθον, οὐκ ἐγὼ αἴτιος but if two trials have been made out of one, I am not responsible Ant. 5.85.

b. Indicative with ἄν (unreal indicative, 1786): ““καίτοι τότε . . . τὸν Ὑπερείδην, εἴπερ ἀληθῆ μου νῦν κατηγορεῖ, μᾶλλον ἂν εἰκότως τόνδ᾽ ἐδίωκενand yet, if indeed his present charge against me is true, he would have had more reason for prosecuting Hyperides than he now has for prosecuting my clientD. 18.223 (here ἂν ἐδίωκεν implies εἰ ἐδίωκεν, 2303). So also an unreal indicative without ἄν, 1774: ““τοῦτο, εἰ καὶ τἄλλα πάντ᾽ ἀποστεροῦσιν . . . ἀποδοῦναι προσῆκενeven if they steal everything else, they should have restored thisD. 27.37. In the above examples each clause has its proper force.

c. Subjunctive of exhortation or prohibition (cp. the indicative δεῖ or χρή with the infinitive, 1807): ““ὅθεν δὲ ἀπελίπομεν ἐπανέλθωμεν, εἴ σοι ἡδομένῳ ἐστίνbut let us return to the point whence we digressed, if it is agreeable to youP. Ph. 78b, εἰ μὲν ἴστε με τοιοῦτον . . . μηδὲ φωνὴν ἀνάσχησθε if you know that I am such a man . . . do not even endure the sound of my voice D. 18.10.

d. Optative of wish (cp. the indicative ἐλπίζω): ““κάκιστ᾽ ἀπολοίμην, Ξανθία_ν εἰ μὴ φιλῶmay I perish most vilely, if I do not love XanthiasAr. Ran. 579.

e. Potential optative: θαυμάζοιμ᾽ ἂν εἰ οἶσθα I should be surprised if you know P. Pr. 312c. The potential optative (or indicative with ἄν, above b) sometimes suggests an inference (cp. the indicative δοκεῖ and inf. with ἄν). Thus, εἰ μὲν γὰρ τοῦτο λέγουσιν, ὁμολογοίην ἂν ἔγωγε οὐ κατὰ τούτους εἶναι ῥήτωρ for if they mean this, I must admit (it seems to me that I must admit) that I am an orator, but not after their style P. A. 17b (cp. τοῦτό γέ μοι δοκεῖ καλὸν εἶναι, εἴ τις οἷός τ᾽ εἴη παιδεύειν ἀνθρώπους this seems to me a fine thing, if any one should be able to train men 19 e), εἰ γὰρ οὗτοι ὀρθῶς ἀπέστησαν, ὑ_μεῖς ἂν οὐ χρεὼν ἄρχοιτε<*> for if they were right in revolting, you must be wrong in holding your empire T. 3.40 (cp. οὐκ ἄρα χρὴ ὑ_μᾶς ἄρχειν).

f. Imperative (cp. the indicative κελεύω order, ἀπαγορεύω forbid): ““εἴ τις ἀντιλέγει, λεγέτωif any one objects, let him speakX. A. 7.3.14.

2301. If the protasis expresses a present intention or necessity, the future indicative may be used.

εἰ δὲ καὶ τῷ ἡγεμόνι πιστεύσομεν ὃν ἂν Κῦρος διδῷ, τί κωλύ_ει καὶ τὰ ἄκρα ἡμῖν κελεύειν Κῦρον προκαταλαβεῖν; but if we are going to trust any guide that Cyrus may give us, what hinders our also ordering Cyrus to occupy the heights in advance in our behalf? X. A. 1.3.16, αἶρε πλῆκτρον, εἰ μαχεῖ raise your spur if you mean (are going) to fight Ar. Av. 759. The future here has a modal force and expresses something besides futurity; hence it is equivalent to μέλλεις μαχεῖσθαι (1959), but not to ἐὰ_ν μάχῃ (2323) or to εἰ μαχεῖ (a threat, 2328), both of which refer to future time. The periphrasis with μέλλω and the present or future infinitive is more common in prose.


2302. In present and past unreal conditions the protasis implies that the supposition cannot or could not be realized because contrary to a known fact. The apodosis states what would be or would have been the result if the condition were or had been realized.

2303. The protasis has ει᾽ with the imperfect, aorist, or pluperfect indicative; the apodosis has ἄν with these past tenses. The protasis and apodosis may have different tenses. Unreal conditions are either particular or general.

2304. The imperfect refers to present time or (sometimes) to a continued or habitual past act or state. The imperfect may be conative.

εἰ ταῦτα ἐποίεις, καλῶς ἂν ἐποίεις if you were (now) doing this, you would be doing well , or if you had been doing this, you would have been doing well.

The implied opposite is a present (ἀλλ᾽ ου᾽ ποιεῖς but you are not doing this) or an imperfect (ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἐποίεις but you were not doing this).

The imperfect of past time emphasizes the continuance of the action.

2305. The aorist refers to a simple occurrence in the past.

εἰ ταῦτα ἐποίησας, καλῶς ἂν ἐποίησας if you had done this, you would have done well.

The implied opposite is an aorist (ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἐποίησας but you did not do this).

2306. The (rare) pluperfect refers to an act completed in past or present time or to the state following on such completion.

εἰ ταῦτα ἐπεποιήκης, καλῶς ἂν ἐπεποιήκης if you had finished doing this (now or on any past occasion), you would have done well.

The implied opposite is a perfect (ἀλλ᾽ ου᾽ πεποίηκας but you have not done this) or a pluperfect (ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἐπεποιήκης but you had not done this).

a. The pluperfect is used only when stress is laid on the completion of the act or on the continuance of the result of the act, and generally refers to present time. In reference to past time, the aorist is generally used instead of the pluperfect.

2307. In reference to past time, the imperfect or aorist is used according as either tense would be used in an affirmative sentence not conditional. The pluperfect is commonly used when the perfect would have been used of present time.

2308. In the form of the protasis and the apodosis of unreal conditions there is nothing that denotes unreality, but, in the combination, the unreality of the protasis is always, and that of the apodosis generally, implied. The past tenses of the indicative are used in unreal conditions referring to present time, because the speaker's thought goes back to the past, when the realization of the condition was still possible, though at the time of speaking that realization is impossible.

2309. Same Tenses in Protasis and Apodosis.—a. Imperfect of present time: ““ταῦτα δὲ οὐκ ἂν ἐδύναντο ποιεῖν, εἰ μὴ καὶ διαίτῃ μετρίᾳ ἐχρῶντοbut they would not be able to do this, if they were not also following a temperate dietX. C. 1.2.16.

b. Imperfect of past time: ““οὐκ ἂν οὖν νήσων . . . ἐκράτει, εἰ μή τι καὶ ναυτικὸν εἶχενaccordingly he would not have ruled over islands, if he had not possessed also some naval forceT. 1.9. Present and past combined: εἰ μὴ τότ᾽ ἐπόνουν, νῦν ἂν οὐκ εὐφραινόμην if I had not toiled then, I should not be rejoicing now Philemon 153.

c. Aorist of past time: ““οὐκ ἂν ἐποίησεν Ἀγασία_ς ταῦτα, εἰ μὴ ἐγὼ αὐτὸν ἐκέλευσαAgasias would not have done this, if I had not ordered himX. A. 6.6.15.

2310. Different Tenses in Protasis and Apodosis.—a. Imperfect and Aorist: εἰ μὲν πρόσθεν ἠπιστάμην, οὐδ᾽ ἂν συνηκολούθησά σοι if I had known this before, I would not even have accompanied you X. A. 7.7.11.

N.—With an imperfect of present time in the protasis, εἶπον ἄν, ἀπεκρι_νάμην ἄν and like verbs, denote an act in present time (I should at once say). Thus, εἰ μὴ πατὴρ ἦσθ᾽, εἶπον ἄν σ᾽ οὐκ εὖ φρονεῖν if thou wert not my father, I would say (would have said) thou wast unwise S. Ant. 755. Often in Plato, as εἰ μὲν οὖ<*> σύ με ἠρώτα_ς τι τῶν νῦν δή, εἶπον ἄν κτλ. if now you were asking me any one of the questions with which we are now dealing, I should say etc., P. Euth. 12d, cp. P. G. 514d, X. A. 7.6.23.

b. Imperfect and Pluperfect: ““καὶ τἄλλ᾽ ἂν ἅπαντ᾽ ἀκολούθως τούτοις ἐπέπρα_κτο, εἴ τις ἐπείθετό μοιand everything else would have been effected consistently with what I have said, if my advice had been followedD. 19.173.

c. Aorist and Imperfect: εἰ μὴ ὑ_μεῖς ἤλθετε, ἐπορευόμεθα ἂν ἐπὶ βασιλέα_ if you had not come, we should now be marching against the king X. A. 2.1.4.

d. Aorist and Pluperfect: εἰ ἐγὼ πάλαι ἐπεχείρησα πρά_ττειν τὰ πολι_τικὰ πρά_γματα, πάλαι ἂν ἀπολώλη if I had long ago essayed to meddle with politics, I should long ago have perished P. A. 31d, εἰ μία ψῆφος μετέπεσεν, ὑπερώριστ᾽ ἄν if one vote had been transferred to the other side, he would have been transported across the borders (and now be in exile) Aes. 3.252.

e. Pluperfect and Imperfect: ““ πόλις ἐλάμβανεν ἂν δίκην, εἴ τι ἠδίκητοthe State would inflict punishment, if it had been wrongedAnt. 6.10.

f. Pluperfect and Aorist: οὐκ ἂν παρέμεινα, εἰ ἐλελύμην I should not have stayed, if I had been free Ant. 5.13.

2311. Homeric Constructions.—In Homer the imperfect in unreal conditions refers only to past time. The apodosis may have κέ or ἄν with the optative.

a. The present unreal condition with εἰ with the optative in the protasis and ἄν with the optative in the apodosis (in form like a less vivid future condition in Attic) is very rare (Ψ 274). In B 80, Ω 220 we have a combination of a past protasis (imperfect or aorist indicative) with present apodosis (with κέν and the optative).

b. Past unreal conditions have, in the protasis, the imperfect or aorist indicative; in the apodosis, either the imperfect or aorist indicative with ἄν or κέ or the aorist or present optative with κέ. Thus, καί νύ κεν ἔνθ᾽ ἀπόλοιτο . . . Αἰνεία_ς, εἰ μὴ ἄρ᾽ ὀξὺ νόησε . . . Ἀφροδί_τη and here Aeneas had perished, if Aphrodite had not quickly observed him E 311.

2312. Unreal conditions with ἄν and the optative in apodosis (cp. 2311) in Attic are rare and some are suspected. Either the common reading is at fault (X. M. 3.5.8), or we have a simple condition with a potential optative (2300 e), as in And. 1.57, L. 6.39, I. 4.102. In εἰ μὲν τοίνυν τοῦτ᾽ ἐπεχείρουν λέγειν . . . , οὐκ ἔσθ᾽ ὅστις οὐκ ἂν εἰκότως ἐπιτι_μήσειέ μοι if now I were attempting to say this, there would be no one who would not censure me with good reason (D. 18.206) the implied conclusion is οὐκ ἂν ἦν ὅστις κτλ.

a. The optative in protasis and apodosis occur in E. Med. 568 (present unreal). Hdt. uses the potential optative occasionally (e.g. 7. 214) where English uses a past expression.


2313. ἄν may be omitted in the apodosis of an unreal condition when the apodosis consists of an imperfect indicative denoting unfulfilled obligation, possibility, or propriety. Such are the impersonal expressions ἔδει, χρῆν, ἐξῆν, εἰκὸς ἦν, καλὸν ἦν, etc., with the infinitive, the action of which is (usually) not realized.

εἰ ταῦτα ἐποίει, ἔδει (ἐξῆν) αἰτιᾶσθαι αὐτόν if he were doing this (as he is not), one ought to (might) blame him.

εἰ ταῦτα ἐποίησε, ἔδει (ἐξῆν) αἰτιά_σασθαι (or αἰτιᾶσθαι) αὐτόν if he had done this (as he did not), one ought to (might) have blamed him.

a. Here ἔδει and ἐξῆν are auxiliaries and the emphasis falls on the infinitive. The impersonal verb has the effect of a modifying adverb denoting obligation, possibility, or propriety: thus ἔδει αἰτιᾶσθαι αὐτόν is virtually equivalent to δικαίως ἂν ᾐτιᾶτο, and εἰκὸς ἦν αἰτιά_σασθαι αὐτόν to εἰκότως ἂν ᾐτιά_θη he would properly have been blamed.

b. ἔδει, χρῆν, etc., may be used in simple sentences (1774 ff.) without any protasis either expressed or implied. But a protasis may often be supplied in thought.

2314. The present infinitive generally expresses what would necessarily, possibly, or properly be done now. The aorist, and sometimes the present, infinitive expresses what would necessarily, possibly, or properly have been done in the past.

a. Present infinitive of present time: ““χρῆν δήπου, εἴτε τινὲς αὐτῶν πρεσβύτεροι γενόμενοι ἔγνωσαν ὅτι νέοις οὖσιν αὐτοῖς ἐγὼ κακὸν πώποτέ τι ξυνεβούλευσα, νυ_νὶ_ αὐτοὺς ἀναβαίνοντας ἐμοῦ κατηγορεῖνif some of them on growing older had perceived that I ever gave them any bad counsel when they were young, they ought of course now to rise up in person and accuse meP. A. 33d.

b. Present infinitive of past time: εἴ τινα (προῖκα) ἐδίδου, εἰκὸς ἦν καὶ τὴν δοθεῖσαν ὑπὸ τῶν παραγενέσθαι φασκόντων μαρτυρεῖσθαι if he had given any dowry, that which was actually delivered would naturally have been attested by those who claimed to have been present Is. 3.28.

c. Aorist infinitive of past time: εἰ ἐβούλετο δίκαιος εἶναι περὶ τοὺς παῖδας, ἐξῆν αὐτῷ . . . μισθῶσαι τὸν οἶκον if he had wished to be just in regard to the children, he might properly have let the house L. 32.23.

2315. With the same impersonal expressions, ἄν is regularly used when the obligation, possibility, or propriety, and not the action of the verb dependent on ἔδει, etc., is denied. Here the main force of the apodosis falls on the necessity, possibility, or propriety of the act.

εἰ ταῦτα ἐποίει, ἔδει (ἐξῆν) ἂν αἰτιᾶσθαι αὐτόν if he were doing this (as he is not), it would be necessary (possible) to blame him; but, as the case now stands, it is not necessary (possible). Thus, εἰ μὲν ἠπιστάμεθα σαφῶς ὅτι ἥξει πλοῖα . . . ἄγων ἱκανά, οὐδὲν ἂν ἔδει ὧν μέλλω λέγειν if we knew for certain that he would return with a sufficient number of vessels, there would be no need to say what I am going to say (but there is need) X. A. 5.1.10, ταῦτα εἰ μὲν δι᾽ ἀσθένειαν ἐπάσχομεν, στέργειν ἂν ἦν ἀνάγκη τὴν τύχην if we had suffered this because of our weakness, we should have (necessity would compel us) to rest content with our lot L. 33.4.

2316. With ἄν, it is implied that the obligation does (or did) not exist; without ἄν, it is implied that the action of the dependent infinitive is (or was) not realized. Thus the first sentence in 2315, without ἄν, would mean: if he were doing this (as he is not), one ought to blame him; but, as the case now stands, one does not blame him.

2317. ἐβουλόμην, or ἐβουλόμην ἄν, with the infinitive may stand in the apodosis. Cp. 1782, 1789.

2318. ἄν is regularly omitted in an apodosis formed by the imperfect of μέλλω and the infinitive (usually future) to denote an unfulfilled past intention or expectation (cp. the Lat. future participle with eram or fui). Cp. 1895 a, 1960.

μάλα δὴ Ἀγαμέμνονος . . . φθί_σεσθαι κακὸν οἶτον ἐνὶ μεγάροισιν ἔμελλον, εἰ μὴ . . . ἔειπες in sooth I was like to have perished in my halls by the evil fate of Agamemnon, hadst thou not spoken ν 383 (periturus eram, nisi dixisses).

2319. ἄν may be omitted with the aorist of κινδυ_νεύω run a risk when the emphasis falls on the dependent infinitive.

εἰ μὴ δρόμῳ μόλις ἐξεφύγομεν εἰς Δελφούς, ἐκινδυ_νεύσαμεν ἀπολέσθαι if we had not escaped with difficulty to Delphi by taking to our heels, we ran the risk of perishing ( = we should probably have perished: ἂν ἀπωλόμεθα) Aes. 3.123. Contrast ““εἰ μέντοι τότε πλείους συνελέγησαν, ἐκινδύ_νευσεν ἂν διαφθαρῆναι πολὺ τοῦ στρατεύματοςif they had mustered in larger force at this time, a large part of the troops would have been in danger of being destroyedX. A. 4.1.11.

2320. Some expressions containing a secondary tense of the indicative without ἄν, and not followed by a dependent infinitive, are virtually equivalent to the apodosis of an unreal condition.

τούτῳ δ᾽ ει᾽ μὴ ὡμολόγουν οὗτος ἐβούλετο, οὐδεμιᾷ ζημίᾳ ἔνοχος ἦν but if they had not acknowledged to him what he wished, he would have been (lit. was) liable to no penalty L. 7.37.

a. Imperfects (not impersonal) without ἄν are often emended, as ᾐσχυ_νόμην μέντοι (some editors μέντἄν), εἰ ὑπὸ πολεμίου γε ὄντος ἐξηπατήθην I should, however, be ashamed, if I had been deceived by any one who was an enemy X. A. 7.6.21. Cp. “Tybalt's death was woe enough, if it had ended there” (Shakesp.). Cases like 1895 a do not belong here.


2321. Future conditions set forth suppositions the fulfilment of which is still undecided. There are two main forms of future conditions:

More Vivid Future conditions.

Less Vivid Future conditions.

A variety of the first class is the Emotional Future (2328).

Future conditions may be particular or general (2293, 2294).

2322. The difference between the More Vivid Future and the Less Vivid Future, like the difference between if I (shall) do this and if I should do this, depends on the mental attitude of the speaker. With the Vivid Future the speaker sets forth a thought as prominent and distinct in his mind; and for any one or more of various reasons. Thus, he may (and generally does) regard the conclusion as more likely to be realized; but even an impossible (2322 c) or dreaded result may be expressed by this form if the speaker chooses to picture the result vividly and distinctly. The More Vivid Future is thus used whenever the speaker clearly desires to be graphic, impressive, emphatic, and to anticipate a future result with the distinctness of the present.

The Less Vivid Future deals with suppositions less distinctly conceived and of less immediate concern to the speaker, mere assumed or imaginary cases. This is a favourite construction in Greek, and is often used in stating suppositions that are merely possible and often impossible; but the form of the condition itself does not imply an expectation of the speaker that the conclusion may possibly be realized. The difference between the two forms, therefore, is not an inherent difference between probable realization in the one case and possible realization in the other. The same thought may often be expressed in either form without any essential difference in meaning. The only difference is, therefore, often that of temperament, tone, or style.

a. ἐά_ν with the subjunctive and εἰ with the optative are rarely used in successive sentences. In most such cases the difference lies merely in the degree of distinctness and emphasis of the expression used; but where the speaker wishes to show that the conclusion is expected or desired, he uses ἐά_ν with the subjunctive rather than the other form. Thus, εἰ οὖν ἴδοιεν καὶ νῲ καθάπερ τοὺς πολλοὺς ἐν μεσημβρίᾳ μὴ διαλεγομένους, ἀλλὰ νυστάζοντας καὶ κηλουμένους ὑφ᾽ αὑτῶν δι᾽ ἀ_ργία_<*> τῆς διανοία_ς, δικαίως ἂν καταγελῷεν: . . . ἐὰ_ν δ᾽ ὁρῶσι διαλεγομένους . . ., τάχ᾽ ἂν δοῖεν ἀγασθέντες if now they should see that we, like the many, are not conversing at noon-day but slumbering and charmed by them because of the indolence of our thoughts, they would rightly laugh at us; but if they see us conversing, they will, perhaps, out of admiration make us gifts P. Phae. 259a.

b. Cases of both forms in successive sentences are I 135, Hdt. 8.21, 9. 48; P. Cr. 51d, Ph. 105 b, Phae. 259 a, Pr. 330 c-331 a, D. 4.11, 18. 147-148. In D. 18.178 both the desired and the undesired alternative have ἐά_ν with the subjunctive.

c. Impossibilities may be expressed by ἐά_ν with the subjunctive. Thus, τί οὖν, ἂ_ν εἴπωσιν οἱ νόμοι; what, then, if the laws say? P. Cr. 50c; cp. P. Eu. 299b, R. 610 a, 612 b (opt. in 359 c, 360 b), Ar. Aves 1642, E. Or. 1593, Phoen. 1216. Cp. 2329 a.


2323. More vivid future conditions have in the protasis ἐά_ν (ἤν, ἄ_ν) with the subjunctive; in the apodosis, the future indicative or any other form referring to future time.

ἐὰ_ν ταῦτα ποιῇς (ποιήσῃς), καλῶς ποιήσεις if you do this, you will do well.

2324. This form of condition corresponds to the use of shall and will in conditional sentences in older English (“if ye shall ask . . . I will do it”: St. John). Modern English substitutes the present for the more exact future in ordinary future conditions of this class; and often uses shall in the protasis with an emotional force. The English present subjunctive, although somewhat rarely used in the modern language, corresponds more nearly to the Greek subjunctive (“if she be there, he shall not need”: Beaumont and Fletcher).—Since if you do this may be expressed in Greek by ἐὰ_ν ταῦτα ποιῇς or εἰ ταῦτα ποιήσεις (2328), and by εἰ ταῦτα ποιεῖς (2298), the difference in meaning is made clear only by the apodosis. The form ἐὰ_ν ταῦτα ποιῇς in vivid future conditions must be distinguished from the same form in present general conditions (if ever you do this, 2337). ἐὰ_ν ταῦτά σοι δοκῇ, ποίει may be particular or general: if (or if ever) this seems good to you, do it.

2325. The present subjunctive views an act as continuing (not completed); the aorist subjunctive as simply occurring (completed). Neither tense has any time of itself. The aorist subjunctive may mark the action of the protasis as completed before the action of the principal clause (cp. the Lat. future perfect). Ingressive aorists (1924) retain their force in the subjunctive.

2326. The apodosis of the more vivid future condition is the future indicative or any other form of the simple sentence that refers to future time.

a. Future Indicative: ““ἐὰ_ν ζητῇς καλῶς, εὑρήσειςif you seek well, you shall findP. G. 503d, ““ἐὰ_ν δ᾽ ἔχωμεν χρήμαθ᾽, ἕξομεν φίλουςif we have money, we shall have friendsMen. Sent. 165, ““χάριν γε εἴσομαι, ἐὰ_ν ἀκούητεI shall be grateful, if you listenP. Pr. 310a, ἂ_ν αὐτῷ διδῷς ἀργύριον καὶ πείθῃς αὐτόν, ποιήσει καὶ σὲ σοφόν if you give him money and persuade him, he will make you too wise 310 d, ““ἢν γὰρ τοῦτο λάβωμεν, οὐ δυνήσονται μένεινfor if we take this, they will not be able to remainX. A. 3.4.41, ἐὰ_ν κύκλου ἐπὶ τῆς περιφερεία_ς ληφθῇ δύο τυχόντα σημεῖα, ἐπὶ τὰ σημεῖα ἐπιζευγνυμένη εὐθεῖα ἐντὸς πεσεῖται τ<*> κύκλου if any two points be taken in the circumference of a circle, the straight line which joins them shall fall within the circle Euclid 3. 2.

b. Primary Tenses of the indicative other than the future. Present (1879): ““ἢν θάνῃς σύ, παῖς ὅδ᾽ ἐκφεύγει μόρονif thou art slain, yon boy escapes deathE. And. 381, δίδωσ᾽ ἑκὼν κτείνειν ἑαυτόν, ἢν τάδε ψευσθῇ λέγων freely he offers himself to death, if he lies in speaking thus (δίδωσι = he says that he is ready) S. Phil. 1342. Aorist: see 1934, and cp. εἰ μέν κ᾽ αὖθι μένων Τρώων πόλιν ἀμφιμάχωμαι, ὤλετο μέν μοι νόστος if I tarry here and wage war about the city of the Trojans, my return home is lost for me I 413. Perfect: see 1950. Cp. “if I shall have an answer no directlier, I am gone”: Beaumont and Fletcher.

c. Subjunctive of exhortation, prohibition, or deliberation, and with μή (μὴ οὐ) of doubtful assertion (1801). Thus, μηδ᾽ ἄ_ν τι ὠνῶμαι, ἔφη, ἢν πωλῇ νεώτερος τριά_κοντα ἐτῶν, ἔρωμαι, ὁπόσου πωλεῖ; even if I am buying something, said he, am I not to askwhat do you sell it for?if the seller is under thirty years of age? X. M. 1.2.36, κἂ_ν φαινώμεθα ἄδικα αὐτὰ ἐργαζόμενοι, μὴ οὐ δέῃ ὑπολογίζεσθαι κτλ. and if we appear to do this unjustly, I rather think it may not be necessary to take notice, etc. P. Cr. 48d.

d. Optative of wish, or potential optative with ἄν (‘something may happen’ instead of ‘something will happen’). Thus, ἤν σε τοῦ λοιποῦ ποτ᾽ ἀφέλωμαι χρόνου, . . . ““κάκιστ᾽ ἀπολοίμηνif ever in the future I take them away from you, may I perish most vilely!Ar. Ran. 586, ἐὰ_ν κατὰ μέρος φυλάττωμεν . . ., ἧττον ἂν δύναιντο ἡμᾶς θηρᾶν οἱ πολέμιοι if we keep guard by turns, the enemy will (would) be less able to harry us X. A. 5.1.9. See also 2356 a.

e. Imperative, or infinitive for the imperative (2013): ““ἢν πόλεμον αἱρῆσθε, μηκέτι ἥκετε δεῦρο ἄνευ ὅπλωνif you choose war, do not come here again without your armsX. C. 3.2.13, ““σὺ δ᾽, ἄ_ν τι ἔχῃς βέλτι_όν ποθεν λαβεῖν, πειρᾶσθαι καὶ ἐμοὶ μεταδιδόναιbut if you can find anything better from any quarter, try to communicate it to me tooP. Crat. 426b.

2327. Homeric Constructions.—a. εἰ alone without κέ or ἄν with the subjunctive with no appreciable difference from εἴ κε (ἄν): εἴ περ γάρ σε κατακτάνῃ, οὔ σ᾽ . . . κλαύσομαι for if he slay thee, I shall not bewail thee X 86. This construction occurs in lyric and dramatic poetry, and in Hdt., as δυστάλαινα τἄ_ρ᾽ ἐγώ, εἴ σου στερηθῶ wretched indeed shall I be, if I am deprived of thee S. O. C. 1443. In Attic prose it is very rare and suspected (T. 6.21).

b. Subjunctive with κέ in both protasis and apodosis (the anticipatory subjunctive, 1810): εἰ δέ κε μὴ δώῃσιν, ἐγὼ δέ κεν αὐτὸς ἕλωμαι and if he do not give her up, then will I seize her myself A 324.

c. εἴ (αἴ) κε with the future in protasis (rare): σοὶ . . . ὄνειδος ἔσσεται, εἴ κ᾽ Ἀχιλῆος . . . ἑταῖρον . . . κύνες ἑλκήσουσιν it will be a reproach unto thee, if the dogs drag the companion of Achilles P 557. Some read here the subjunctive.

2328. Emotional Future Conditions.—When the protasis expresses strong feeling, the future indicative with εἰ is commonly used instead of ἐά_ν with the subjunctive, and may often be rendered by hall. The protasis commonly suggests something undesired, or feared, or intended independently of the speaker's will; the apodosis commonly conveys a threat, a warning, or an earnest appeal to the feelings. The apodosis is generally expressed by the future indicative, but other forms of 2326 are possible.

““εἰ ταῦτα λέξεις, ἐχθαρεῖ μὲν ἐξ ἐμοῦif thou speakest thus, thou wilt be hated by meS. Ant. 93, εἰ μὴ καθέξεις γλῶσσαν, ἔσται σοι κακά if you won't hold your tongue, there's trouble in store for you E. frag. 5, ““ἀποκτενεῖς γάρ, εἴ με γῆς ἔξω βαλεῖςfor thou wilt slay me if thou shalt thrust me out of the landE. Phoen. 1621, ““εἰ ὧδε στρατευσόμεθα, οὐ δυνησόμεθα μάχεσθαιif we keep the field thus, we shall not be able to fightX. C. 6.1.13, ἀ_θλιώτατος ἂν γενοίμην (potential optative), ““εἰ φυγὰς ἀδίκως καταστήσομαιI should become most wretched, were I to be driven unjustly into exileL. 7.41.

a. When εἰ with the future indicative is directly contrasted with ἐά_ν with the subjunctive, the former usually presents the unfavourable, the latter the favourable, alternative. Thus,

ἢν μὲν γὰρ ἐθέλωμεν ἀποθνῄσκειν ὑπὲρ τῶν δικαίων, εὐδοκιμήσομεν . . ., εἰ δὲ φοβησόμεθα τοὺς κινδύ_νους, εἰς πολλὰ_ς ταραχὰ_ς καταστήσομεν ἡμᾶς αὐτούς if we are (shall be) willing to die for the sake of justice, we shall gain renown; but if we are going to fear dangers, we shall bring ourselves into great confusion I. 6.107. Cp. X. C. 4.1.15, Ar. Nub. 586-591, L. 27.7, I. 12.237, 15. 130, 17. 9, D. 8.17, 18. 176, 27. 20-22. Both constructions are rarely used in successive clauses with out any essential difference (X. Ap. 6). ἐά_ν with the subjunctive, when used in threats or warnings, is a milder form of statement than εἰ with the future (Hdt. 1.71). An unfavourable alternative may thus be expressed by ἐά_ν with the subjunctive (A 135-137, Hdt. 3.36, Aes. 3.254).

b. εἰ with the future indicative may have a modal force like that of δεῖ or μέλλω (am to, must) with the infinitive: βαρεῖα (κήρ), εἰ τέκνον δαΐξω hard is fate, if I must slay my child A. Ag. 208. The future of present intention (2301) is different.


2329. Less vivid future conditions (should . . . would conditions) have in the protasis εἰ with the optative, in the apodosis ἄν with the optative.

εἰ ταῦτα ποιοίης, καλῶς ἂν ποιοίης or εἰ ταῦτα ποιήσειας, καλῶς ἂν ποιήσειας if you should do this, you would do well.

““εἴης φορητὸς οὐκ ἄν, εἰ πρά_σσοις καλῶςthou wouldst be unendurable shouldst thou be prosperousA. Pr. 979, εἰ δ᾽ ἀναγκαῖον εἴη ἀδικεῖν ἀδικεῖσθαι, ἑλοίμην ἂν μᾶλλον ἀδικεῖσθαι ἀδικεῖν but if it should be necessary to do wrong or be wronged, I should prefer to be wronged than to do wrong P. G. 469c, ““δεινὰ ἂν εἴην εἰργασμένος, . . . εἰ λίποιμι τὴν τάξινI should be in the state of having committed a dreadful deed, if I were to desert my postP. A. 28d.

a. Anything physically impossible may be represented as supposable, hence this construction may be used of what is contrary to fact. Thus, ““φαίη δ᾽ ἂν θανοῦσά γ᾽ ει᾽ φωνὴν λάβοιthe dead would speak if gifted with a voiceS. El. 548. Cp. A. Ag. 37, P. Pr. 361a, Eu. 299 d, and see 2311 a, 2322 c.

2330. Conditional sentences of this class arose partly from optatives of wish (1814, 1815), partly from potential optatives (1824). Cp. εἴθ᾽ ὧς ἡβώοιμι . . . τῷ κε τάχ᾽ ἀντήσειε μάχης . . . Ἕκτωρ would that I were thus young . . . in that case Hector would soon find his combat H 157; see also ξ 193.

2331. The present optative views an action as continuing (not completed); the aorist optative, as simply occurring (completed). (The future optative is never used except to represent a future indicative in indirect discourse.) The perfect (rare) denotes completion with resulting state. In Hdt. 7.214 it is used vaguely of the past: εἰδείη μὲν γὰρ ἂν . . . ταύτην τὴν ἀτ ραπὸν Ὀνήτης, εἰ τῇ χώρᾳ πολλὰ ὡμι_ληκὼς εἴη for Onetes might know of this path . . . if he had been well acquainted with the country.

2332. English would is equivocal, being used either in the translation of ἄν with the optative or of ἄν with the past indicative (2302). Thus, cp. εἴ τίς σε ἤρετο . . ., τί ἂν ἀπεκρἰ_νω; if any one had asked you . . ., what would you have replied? with εἰ οὖν τις ἡμᾶς . . . ἔροιτο . . ., τί ἂν αὐτῷ ἀποκρι_ναίμεθα; if then some one should (were to) ask us . . ., what would (should) we reply to him? P. Pr. 311b, d. If I were may be used to translate both εἰ with the optative and εἰ with the past indicative. English shows examples of were in the protasis followed by would, shall, will, is (was, etc.). Were occurs also in apodosis (“should he be roused out of sleep to-night, it were not well”: Shelley).

2333. The apodosis has the optative without ἄν in wishes.

““εἰ μὲν συμβουλεύοιμι βέλτιστά μοι δοκεῖ, πολλά μοι καὶ ἀγαθὰ γένοιτοif I should give the advice that seems best to me, may many blessings fall to my lotX. A. 5.6.4.

On the optative with εἰ followed by other forms of the apodosis, see 2359.

2334. Homeric Constructions.—a. In the protasis, εἴ κε (εἰ ἄν) with the optative with the same force as εἰ alone. This use is exclusively Homeric. Thus, οὐ μὲν γάρ τι κακώτερον ἄλλο πάθοιμι, οὐδ᾽ εἴ κεν τοῦ πατρὸς ἀποφθιμένοιο πυθοίμην for I could not suffer anything worse, not even if I should learn of my father's death T 321. On εἰ ἄν in Attic, see 2353.

b. In the apodosis, a primary tense of the indicative: the present (η 52), the future (I 388), the future with κέ (μ 345: but this may be the aorist subjunctive).

c. In the apodosis, the hortatory subjunctive (Ψ 893), the subjunctive with ἄν or κέ (Λ 386).

d. In the apodosis, the optative without ἄν not in a wish, but with the same force as the optative with ἄν. See T 321 in a.

e. For κέ with the optative in the apodosis where we should expect, in Homeric and Attic Greek, a past indicative with ἄν (κέ) in an unreal condition, see 2311 b.


2335. General conditions refer indefinitely to any act or series of acts that are supposed to occur or to have occurred at any time; and without any implication as to fulfilment.

The if clause has the force of if ever (whenever), the conclusion expresses a repeated or habitual action or a general truth.

2336. Any simple or unreal condition of present or past time, or any future condition, may refer to a customary or frequently repeated act or to a general truth. But for the present and past only (when nothing is implied as to fulfilment) there are two forms of expression: either a special kind of conditional sentence or (less frequently) the simple condition, as regularly in English and in Latin:

Present. Protasis: ἐά_ν (= ἐά_ν ποτε) with the subjunctive; apodosis: the present indicative (2337).

Protasis: εἰ ( = εἴ ποτε) with the present indicative; apodosis: the present indicative (2298 c, 2342).

Past. Protasis: εἰ with the optative; apodosis: the imperfect indicative (2340).

Protasis: εἰ with the imperfect; apodosis: the imperfect (2298 c, 2342).

a. By reason of the past apodosis, the optative in the protasis refers to the past. Only in this use (and when the optative in indirect discourse represents a past indicative) does the optative refer distinctly to the past.

b. The present subjunctive and optative view the action as continuing (not completed); the aorist subjunctive and optative, as simply occurring (completed). The tenses of the protasis have no time of themselves, but usually the action of the present is relatively contemporaneous with, the action of the aorist relatively antecedent to, the action of the main verb.

c. The indicative forms in the protasis are more common in temporal and relative sentences. Observe that it is the character of the apodosis alone which distinguishes the special kind of general condition from the two forms of future conditions.


2337. Present general conditions have, in the protasis, ἐά_ν (ἤν, ἄ_ν) with the subjunctive; in the apodosis, the present indicative or an equivalent. ἐὰ_ν ταῦτα ποιῇς (ποιήσῃς), σὲ ἐπαινῶ if ever you do this, I always praise you. The conclusion holds true of any time or of all time.

““ἢν δ᾽ ἐγγὺς ἔλθῃ θάνατος, οὐδεὶς βούλεται θνῄσκεινbut if death draws near, no one wishes to dieE. Alc. 671, ““γελᾷ δ᾽ μῶρος, κἄ_ν τι μὴ γελοῖον the fool laughs even if there is nothing to laugh atMen. Sent. 108, ἐὰ_ν ἴσοις ἴσα προστεθῇ, τὰ ὅλα ἐστὶν ἴσα if equals be added to equals, the wholes are equal Euclid, Ax. 2.

2338. The gnomic aorist is equivalent to the present indicative in apodosis. ἢν δέ τις τούτων τι παραβαίνῃ, ζημία_ν αὐτοῖς ἐπέθεσαν but if any one ever transgresses any one of these regulations, they always impose punishment upon them (him) X. C. 1.2.2.

2339. Homer and Pindar prefer εἰ to ἐά_ν or εἴ κε (A 81); and this εἰ is sometimes found in Attic poetry (S. Ant. 710). ἄν is more often absent in general conditions than in vivid future conditions.

Sixth Form of Conditions: PAST GENERAL CONDITIONS

2340. Past general conditions have, in the protasis, εἰ with the optative; in the apodosis, the imperfect indicative or an equivalent. εἰ ταῦτα ποιοίης (ποιήσειας), σὲ ἐπῄνουν if ever you did this, I always praised you.

εἴ πού τι ὁρῴη βρωτόν, διεδίδου if ever he saw anything to eat anywhere, he always distributed it X. A. 4.5.8, ““εἰ δέ τις καὶ ἀντείποι, εὐθὺς . . . ἐτεθνήκειbut if any one even made an objection, he was promptly put to deathT. 8.66, εἰ μὲν ἐπίοιεν οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι, ὑπεχώρουν, εἰ δ᾽ ἀναχωροῖεν, ἐπέκειντο if the Athenians advanced, they retreated; if they retired, they fell upon them 7.79, ἐτί_μα_ δ᾽ εἴ τι καλὸν πρά_ττοιεν, παρί_στατο δ᾽ εἴ τις συμφορὰ_ συμβαίνοι he honoured them if ever they performed some noble action, and stood by them in times of misfortune (lit. if any misfortune befell) X. Ag. 7.3.

a. The optative is here sometimes called the iterative optative. This mood has however no iterative force in itself, the idea of repetition being derived solely from the context. In Homer the iterative optative after εἰ (found only Ω 768) is an extension of the iterative optative in temporal clauses where this use originated.

2341. The iterative imperfect or aorist with ἄν (1894, 1933): εἰ δέ τις αὐτῷ περί του ἀντιλέγοι . . ., ἐπὶ τὴν ὑπόθεσιν ἐπανῆγεν ἂν πάντα τὸν λόγον if ever any one opposed him on any matter, he would always bring the entire discussion back to the main point X. M. 4.6.13, εἴ τις αὐτῷ δοκοίη . . . βλα_κεύειν, ἐκλεγόμενος τὸν ἐπιτήδειον ἔπαισεν ἄν if ever any one seemed to be lagging, he would always pick out the likely man and strike him X. A. 2.3.11. These cases are not to be confused with the apodoses of unreal conditions.


2342. Present: protasis, εἰ with the present; apodosis, the present. Past: protasis, εἰ with the imperfect; apodosis, the imperfect.

The protasis usually has εἴ τις, εἴ τι (cp. ὅστις, τι) with the indicative, as εἴ τις δύο καί τι πλείους ἡμέρα_ς λογίζεται, μάταιός ἐστιν if ever any one counts upon two or even perchance on more days, he is rash S. Tr. 944, ““ἐλευθέρως δὲ . . . πολι_τεύομεν . . ., οὐ δι᾽ ὀργῆς τὸν πέλας, εἰ καθ᾽ ἡδονήν τι δρᾷ, ἔχοντεςwe are tolerant in our public life, not being angry at our neighbour if he acts as he likesT. 2.37, τὰ μὲν ἀγώγιμα, εἴ τι ἦγον, ἐξαιρούμενοι φύλακας καθί_στασαν taking out the cargoes, if the vessels carried anything, they appointed guards X. A. 5.1.16, εἴ τίς τι ἐπηρώτα_, ἀπεκρί_νοντο if ever anybody asked any questions (for additional information) they answered T. 7.10, ἐμί_σει οὐκ εἴ τις κακῶς πάσχων ἠμύ_νετο, ἀλλ᾽ εἴ τις εὐεργετούμενος ἀχάριστος φαίνοιτο (2340) he hated not the man who, on suffering ill, retaliated, but him who seemed ungrateful though he had received kindness X. Ag. 11. 3.


2343. The same period may show different forms of conditional sentences according to the exigency of the thought.

““ταὐτὸ τοίνυν τοῦτ᾽ ἂν ἐποίησε Φίλιππος, εἴ τινα τούτων εἶδε δίκην δόντα, καὶ νῦν, ἂ_ν ἴδῃ, ποιήσειthis very same thing then Philip would have done, if he had seen any one of these men being punished; and will do so now, if he sees itD. 19.138, εἰ οὖν ἐπιθυ_μεῖς εὐδοκιμεῖν . . . , πειρῶ κατεργάσασθαι ὡς μάλιστα τὸ εἰδέναι βούλει πρά_ττειν: ἐὰ_ν γὰρ τούτῳ διενέγκα_ς τῶν ἄλλων ἐπιχειρῇς τὰ τῆς πόλεως πρά_ττειν, οὐκ ἂν θαυμάσαιμι εἰ πάνυ ῥᾳδίως τύχοις ὧν ἐπιθυ_μεῖς if then you desire to enjoy an honourable fame . . . , try to acquire as far as possible the knowledge of what you wish to do; for if, differing in this regard from other men, you attempt to deal with affairs of state, I should not be surprised if you were to attain the object of your ambition with great ease X. M. 3.6.18.



2344. Substitutions for the Protasis.—For the protasis with εἰ there may be substituted a participle, often in the genitive absolute (2067, 2070), an adverb, a prepositional phrase, a relative clause (2560), or some other single word or phrase. The present participle represents the imperfect, as the perfect represents the pluperfect.

πῶς δῆτα δίκης οὔσης (= εἰ δίκη ἐστίν) Ζεὺς οὐκ ἀπόλωλεν τὸν πατέρ᾽ αὑτοῦ δήσα_ς; how, pray, if there is any justice, has Zeus not perished since he bound his own father? Ar. Nub. 904, οὐ γὰρ ἦν μοι δήπου βιωτὸν τοῦτο ποιήσαντα (= εἰ ἐποίησα) for of course life had not been worth living if I had done this D. 21.120, οὐ γὰρ ἂν ἐβλήθη ἀτρεμίζων καὶ μὴ διατρέχων (= εἰ ἠτρέμιζε καὶ μὴ διέτρεχε) for he would not have been hit if he had been keeping quiet and not running across Ant. 3. β. 5, δικαίως ἂν ἀπέθανον I should justly (i.e. if I had met with my deserts) have been put to death D. 18.209, ἐμοὶ δὲ ἀρκοῦν ἂν ἐδόκει εἶναι for myself (i.e. if I had to decide) it would seem to be sufficient T. 2.35, διά γε ὑ_μᾶς αὐτοὺς (= εἰ ὑ_μεῖς αὐτοὶ μόνοι ἦτε) ““πάλαι ἂν ἀπολώλειτεif you had been left to yourselves, you would have perished long agoD. 18.49, ὀλοῦμαι μὴ μαθών (= ἐὰ_ν μὴ μάθω) I shall be undone if I don't learn Ar. Nub. 792, νι_κῶντες (= εἰ νι_κῷεν) μὲν οὐδένα ἂν κατακάνοιεν, ἡττηθέντων (= εἰ ἡττηθεῖεν) ““οὐδεὶς ἂν λειφθείηshould they be victorious they would kill no one, but if defeated no one would be leftX. A. 3.1.2, οὕτω (= εἰ οὕτως ἔχοιεν) ““γὰρ πρὸς τὸ ἐπιέναι τοῖς ἐναντίοις εὐψυ_χότατοι ἂν εἶενfor thus they would be most courageous in regard to attacking the enemyT. 2.11, ““οὐδ᾽ ἂν δικαίως ἐς κακὸν πέσοιμί τιnor should I justly come to any troubleS. Ant. 240.

a. Sometimes the protasis has to be supplied from what precedes (example in 1825); or from a main clause with ἀλλά, which follows: οὐδέ κεν αὐτὸς ὑπέκφυγε κῆρα μέλαιναν: ἀλλ᾽ Ἥφαιστος ἔρυτο (= εἰ μὴ ἔρυτο) nor would he himself have escaped black fate; but Hephaestus guarded him E 23 (cp. X. A. 3.2.24-25).

2345. Verb of the Protasis Omitted.—The verb of the protasis is usually omitted when the apodosis has the same verb. The protasis is often introduced by εἴ τις, εἴ ποτε, εἴπερ (ποτέ).

εἴ τις καὶ ἄλλος ἀνήρ, καὶ Κῦρος ἄξιός ἐστι θαυμάζεσθαι if any other man (is worthy to be admired), Cyrus, too, is worthy to be admired X. C. 5.1.6, φημὶ δεῖν . . . τῷ πολέμῳ προσέχειν, εἴπερ ποτέ (ἔδει), καὶ νῦν I say that we must now, if ever, apply ourselves to the war D. 1.6.

2346. So with certain special phrases:

a. εἰ μή (if not) except: οὐ γὰρ . . . ὁρῶμεν εἰ μὴ ὀλίγους τούτους ἀνθρώπους for we do not see any except a few men yonder X. A. 4.7.5, ““οὐ γὰρ ἄν ποτε ἐξηῦρον ὀρθῶς τὰ μετέωρα πρά_γματα, εἰ μὴ κρεμάσα_ς τὸ νόημαfor I could never have discovered aright things celestial, except by suspending the intellectAr. Nub. 229. So ἐὰ_ν μή D. 24.45 (in a decree).

b. εἰ μὴ εἰ (if not if, unless if) except if: ἐπρά_χθη τε οὐδὲν ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν ἔργον ἀξιόλογον, εἰ μὴ εἴ τι πρὸς τοὺς περιοίκους τοὺς αὐτῶν ἑκάστοις and nothing noteworthy was done on their part except it might be (lit. except if there was done) something between each of them and his neighbours T. 1.17. Here εἰ μὴ is adverbial.

c. εἰ μὴ διά (if not on account of) except for: (οὐ) Μιλτιάδην . . . εἰς τὸ βάραθρον ἐμβαλεῖν ἐψηφίσαντο, καὶ εἰ μὴ διὰ τὸν πρύτανιν, ἐνέπεσεν ἄν; did they not vote to throw Miltiades into the pit, and except for the prytan would he not have been thrown there? P. G. 516e. With εἰ μὴ διά the ellipsis (which was not conscious to the Greeks) is to be supplied by the negatived predicate of the main clause (here οὐκ ἐνέπεσεν).

d. εἰ δὲ μή (but if not = si minus, sin aliter) otherwise, in alternatives, introduces a supposition opposed to something just said: ἀπῄτει τὰ τῶν Καλχηδονίων χρήματα: εἰ δὲ μή, πολεμήσειν ἔφη αὐτοῖς he demanded back the property of the Calchedonians; otherwise (i.e. if they should not restore it: εἰ μὴ ἀποδοῖεν) he said that he should make war upon them X. H. 1.3.3.

N. 1.—εἰ δὲ μή often occurs even where the preceding clause is negative and we expect εἰ δέ, as ““μὴ ποιήσῃς ταῦτα: εἰ δὲ μὴ . . . αἰτία_ν ἕξειςdo not do this; but if you do, you will have the blameX. A. 7.1.8. Conversely εἰ δέ, where we expect εἰ δὲ μή, as εἰ μὲν βούλεται, ἑψέτω: εἰ δ᾽, τι βούλεται, τοῦτο ποιείτω if he wishes, let him boil me; otherwise, let him do whatever he wishes P. Eu. 285c.

N. 2.—εἰ δὲ μή is used where (after a preceding ἐά_ν) we expect ἐὰ_ν δὲ μή, as ἐὰ_ν μέν τι ὑ_μῖν δοκῶ ἀληθὲς λέγειν, ξυνομολογήσατε: εἰ δὲ μή, ἀντιτείνετε if I seem to you to speak the truth, agree with me; otherwise, oppose me P. Ph. 91c.

N. 3.—The verb of the apodosis of the first of the alternatives is often omitted: ἐὰ_ν μὲν ἑκὼν πείθηται (scil. καλῶς ἕξει): εἰ δὲ μὴ . . . εὐθύ_νουσιν ἀπειλαῖς if he willingly obeys (it will be well; otherwise they straighten him by threats P. Pr. 325d.

2347. On ὡς εἰ in comparative conditional clauses see 2484.

2348. In the Homeric εἰ δ᾽ ἄγε come now, well! εἰ probably has the force of an interjectional or demonstrative adverb (cp. Lat. eia age). Thus, εἰ δ᾽ ἄγε τοι κεφαλῇ κατανεύσομαι come now! I will nod assent to thee with my head A 524.

2349. Omission of the Protasis.—The potential optative, and the indicative, with ἄν stand in independent sentences; in many cases a protasis may be supplied either from the context or generally; in other cases there was probably no conscious ellipsis at all; and in others there was certainly no ellipsis. Cp. 1785, 1825.

ποῦ δῆτ᾽ ἂν εἶεν οἱ ξένοι; where, pray (should I inquire) would the strangers be found to be? S. El. 1450, ἀριθμὸν δὲ γράψαι . . . οὐκ ἂν ἐδυνάμην ἀκριβῶς but to give the number accurately I should not be able (if I were trying) T. 5.68, δεινὸν οὖν ἦν ψεύσασθαι it had been terrible to break my word (if it had been possible) D. 19.172.


2350. The apodosis may be expressed in a participle or infinitive with or without ἄν as the construction may require; cp. 1846, 1848.

αἰτεῖ αὐτὸν εἰς δισχι_λίους ξένους καὶ τριῶν μηνῶν μισθόν, ὡς οὕτως περιγενόμενος (= περιγενοίμην) ἂν τῶν ἀντιστασιωτῶν he asked him for pay for two thousand mercenaries and for three months, stating that thus he would get the better of his adversaries X. A. 1.1.10. (Here οὕτως represents the protasis, 2344.) οὐδενὸς ἀντειπόντος διὰ τὸ μὴ ἀνασχέσθαι ἂν τὴν ἐκκλησία_ν no one spoke in opposition because the assembly would not have suffered it (= εἰ ἀντεῖπε, οὐκ ἂν ἠνέσχετο ἐκκλησία_) X. H. 1.4.20, εἰ (Τεγέα_) ““σφίσι προσγένοιτο, νομίζοντες ἅπα_σαν ἂν ἔχειν Πελοπόννησονthey thought that, if Tegea too should come over to them, they would have the whole of the PeloponneseT. 5.32. See 2616.

2351. Verb of the Apodosis Omitted.—The verb of the apodosis is often omitted, and especially when the protasis has the same verb (cp. 2345). Here a potential optative with ἄν is represented by ἄν alone (1764 a, 1766 a). Thus, εἰ δή τῳ σοφώτερός του φαίην εἶναι, τούτῳ ἄν (φαίην εἶναι) if I should say that in any respect I am wiser than any one, (I should say) in this P. A. 29b. Also in other cases, as τί δῆτ᾽ ἄν (λέγοις), ἕτερον εἰ πύθοιο Σωκράτους φρόντισμα; what then would (you say), if you should hear another excogitation of Socrates? Ar. Nub. 154. On ὥσπερ εἰ, ὥσπερ ἂν εἰ, ὡς εἰ, see 1766 a, 2478, 2484.

2352. Omission of the Apodosis.—a. When the conclusion is it is well (καλῶς ἔχει) or the like, it is often omitted. So often when the second of alternative opposing suppositions is expressed by εἰ δὲ μή (2346 d, N. 3). Cp. “yet now, if thou wilt forgive this sin, —: and if not, blot me . . . out of thy book” (Exodus 32. 32).

b. When we should introduce the conclusion by know that or I tell you: εἰ καὶ οἴει με ἀδικοῦντά τι ἄγεσθαι, οὔτε ἔπαιον οὐδένα οὔτε ἔβαλλον if you possibly think that I was taken for some wrong-doing, know that I neither struck nor hit any one X. A. 6.6.27. Here the apodosis might be introduced by σκέψασθε, ἐνθυ_μήθητε, etc.

c. Sometimes when the protasis is merely parenthetical: ““ χρυ_σός, εἰ βούλοιο τἀ_ληθῆ λέγειν, ἔκτεινε τὸν ἐμὸν παῖδαit was the gold—wouldst thou only tell the truth—that slew my childE. Hec. 1206.

d. In passionate speech for rhetorical effect (aposiopēsis, 3015): εἴ περ γάρ κ᾽ ἐθέλῃσιν Ὀλύμπιος ἀστεροπητὴς ἐξ ἑδέων στυφελίξαι: γὰρ πολὺ φέρτατός ἐστιν for if indeed the Olympian lord of the lightning will to thrust us out from our habitations, thrust us he will; for he is by far the most powerful A 581.

e. There is properly no omission of an apodosis after clauses with εἰ, εἰ γάρ, εἴθε, etc., in wishes (see 1816). In such clauses it is often possible to find an apodosis in an appended final clause: ““ποτανὰ_ν εἴ μέ τις θεῶν κτίσαι, διπόταμον ἵνα πόλιν μόλωif only some one of the gods were to make me winged so that I might come to the city of twin rivers!E. Supp. 621.


2353. εἰ and ἄν both in Protasis.—The potential optative with ἄν or the unreal indicative with ἄν, standing as the apodosis in the conditional clause with εἰ, is the apodosis of another protasis expressed or understood.

a. Potential Optative.—ἀλλὰ μὴν εἴ γε μηδὲ δοῦλον ἀκρατῆ δεξαίμεθ᾽ ἄν, πῶς οὐκ ἄξιον αὐτόν γε φυλάξασθαι τοιοῦτον γενέσθαι; and yet indeed if we would not accept even a slave who was intemperate, how is it not right for a man (the master) to guard against becoming so himself? X. M. 1.5.3. Here δεξαίμεθα is the protasis with εἰ; and also, with ἄν, the apodosis to an understood protasis (e.g. if we should think of so doing). The verb of the protasis may be contained in a participle, as εἰ δὲ μηδεὶς ἂν ὑ_μῶν ἀξιώσειε ζῆν ἀποστερούμενος τῆς πατρίδος, προσήκει κτλ. but if no one of you should think life worth having if he were to be deprived of his country, it is right, etc. I. 6.25. Such clauses form simple present conditions (if it is true that we would accept, etc.). The verb following the compressed condition stands usually in the present, at times in the future, indicative. X. C. 3.3.55: θαυμάζοιμι ἂν . . . εἰ ἂν ὠφελήσειε is an exception.

b. Unreal Indicative.—εἰ τοίνυν τοῦτο ἰσχυ_ρὸν ἦν ἂν τούτῳ τεκμήριον . . ., κἀ_μοὶ γενέσθω τεκμήριον if then this would have been strong evidence for him (if he had been able to bring it forward), let it be evidence for me too D. 49.58. This is a present condition (if it is true that this would, etc.) except in so far as the unexpressed protasis refers to the past. Such conditions may also be past.

N. 1.—The real protasis is: if it is (or was) the case that something could now (or hereafter) be (or could have been), it follows that.

N. 2.—In some of these cases, εἰ has almost the force of ἐπεί since (D. 49.58).

2354. ει᾽, ἐά_ν, on the chance that.—εἰ or ἐά_ν may set forth the motive for the action or feeling expressed by the apodosis, and with the force of on the chance that, in case that, in the hope that, if haply.

After primary tenses in the apodosis, we have εἰ with the indicative or ἐά_ν (πως) with the subjunctive; after secondary tenses, εἰ with the optative or, occasionally, ἐά_ν (πως) with the subjunctive. Homer has sometimes the optative after primary tenses. The reference is to the future as in final clauses.

The protasis here depends, not on the apodosis proper, but on the idea of purpose or desire suggested by the thought. The accomplishment of the purpose may be desired or not desired, and by the subject either of the apodosis or of the protasis.

νῦν αὖτ᾽ ἐγχείῃ πειρήσομαι, αἴ κε τύχωμι but now I will make trial with my spear on the chance (in the hope) that I may hit thee E279, ἄκουσον καὶ ἐμοῦ, ἐά_ν σοι ἔτι ταὐτὰ δοκῇ listen to me too on the chance (in the hope) that you may still have the same opinion P. R. 358b, ““πορευόμενοι ἐς τὴν Ἀσία_ν ὡς βασιλέα_, εἴ πως πείσειαν αὐτόνgoing into Asia to the king in the hope that somehow they might persuade himT. 2.67, πρὸς τὴν πόλιν, εἰ ἐπιβοηθοῖεν, ἐχώρουν they advanced toward the city on the chance that they (the citizens) should make a sally 6. 100.

N.—This use is to be distinguished from that of εἰ ἄρα if perchance, εἰ μὴ ἄρα unless perchance (often ironical).

a. This construction should be distinguished from cases like ““ἐπιβουλεύουσιν . . . ἐξελθεῖν . . ., ἢν δύνωνται βιάσασθαιthey planned to get out, if they might make their way by forceT. 3.20, where we have implied indirect discourse (ἐξέλθωμεν, ἢν δυνώμεθα βιάσασθαι).

b. Homer uses this construction as an object clause in dependence on οἶδα, εἶδον, or on a verb of saying. Thus τίς δ᾽ οἶδ᾽, εἴ κέν οἱ σὺν δαίμονι θυ_μὸν ὀρί_νω παρειπών; who knows if, perchance, with God's help I may rouse his spirit by persuasion? O 403 (i.e. the chances of rousing his spirit, if haply I may), ἐνίσπες, εἴ πως . . . ὑπεκπροφύγοιμι Χάρυβδιν tell me if haply I shall (might) escape Charybdis μ 112. Here the apodosis is entirely suppressed. Observe that this construction is not an indirect question.


2355. In addition to the ordinary forms of correspondence between protasis and apodosis (2297), Greek shows many other combinations expressing distinct shades of feeling. Most of these combinations, though less frequent than the ordinary forms, are no less “regular.” Shift of mental attitude is a known fact of all speech, though the relation of cause to effect must not be obscured. A speaker or writer, having begun his sentence with a protasis of one type, may alter the course of his thought: with the result that he may conclude with an apodosis of another form, in some cases even with an apodosis “unsymmetrical” with the protasis and logically dependent upon a protasis that is only suggested by the form actually adopted. Since either protasis or apodosis may choose the form of expression best suited to the meaning, the student should beware of thinking that conditional sentences invariably follow a conventional pattern, departure from which is to be counted as violation of rule. Some combinations are less usual than others: most of the more common variations from the ordinary type have been mentioned under the appropriate sections, and are here summarized (2356-2358). Special cases are considered in 2359-2365.

2356. The optative with ἄν (the potential optative) may be used as the apodosis of

εἰ with the indicative in Simple Present and Past conditions (2300 e),

εἰ with the past indicative in Unreal conditions in Homer (rarely in Attic, 2312),

εἰ with the future indicative in Emotional Future conditions (2328),

εἰ with the optative in Less Vivid Future conditions (2329). In Present conditions (2353): εἰ λέγοιμ᾽ ἄν supposing I would say, whereas εἰ λέγοιμι means supposing I should say.

ἐά_ν with the subjunctive in More Vivid Future conditions (2326 d).

a. When the protasis is a future indicative or a subjunctive, the optative with ἄν sometimes seems to be merely a mild future and to have no potential force. Thus, ἢν οὖν μάθῃς μοι τὸν ἄδικον τοῦτον λόγον, οὐκ ἂν ἀποδοίην οὐδ᾽ ἂν ὀβολὸν οὐδενί if then you learn this unjust reason for me, I will not pay even an obol to anybody Ar. Nub. 116.

2357. The subjunctive of exhortation, prohibition, or deliberation, the optative of wish, and the imperative, may be used as the apodosis of

εἰ with the indicative in Simple Present and Past conditions (2300 c, d, f),

εἰ with the future indicative in Emotional Future conditions (2328),

ἐά_ν with the subjunctive in More Vivid Future conditions (2326 c-e).

2358. The unreal indicative with or without ἄν may be used as the apodosis of

a. εἰ with the indicative in Simple Present and Past conditions (2300 b). So after εἰ with the future denoting present intention or necessity that something shall be done (2301), as εἰ γὰρ γυναῖκες εἰς τόδ᾽ ἥξουσιν θράσους . . ., παρ᾽ οὐδὲν αυ<*>ταῖς ἦν ἂν ὀλλύναι πόσεις for if women are to reach this height of boldness, it would be as nothing for them to destroy their husbands E. Or. 566.

b. εἰ with the past indicative in Present and Past Unreal conditions (2302).

ei) with the Optative, Apodosis a primary tense of the Indicative, etc.

2359. εἰ with the optative (instead of ἐά_ν with the subjunctive) is not infrequent in the protasis with a primary tense of the indicative, a subjunctive, or an imperative, in the apodosis. The reference is usually either to general present time (with the present indicative), or to future time. When the apodosis contains a present indicative it frequently precedes the protasis.

a. Compare the analogous usage in English commonly with should, would: “There is some soul of goodness in things evil, would men observingly distil it” (Shakespeare). “If you should die, my death shall follow yours” (Dryden). “I shall scarcely figure in history, if under my guidance such visitations should accrue” (Disraeli). “If he should kill thee . . ., he has nothing to lose” (Sedley). “But if an happy soil should be withheld . . . think it not beneath thy toil” (Philips).

2360. Present Indicative.—a. In general statements and maxims. The apodosis is sometimes introduced by a verb requiring the infinitive.

““ἀνδρῶν γὰρ σωφρόνων μέν ἐστιν, εἰ μὴ ἀδικοῖντο, ἡσυχάζεινfor it is the part of prudent men to remain quiet if they should not be wrongedT. 1.120, εἴ τι τυγχάνοι κακόν, εἰς ὄμματ᾽ εὔνου φωτὸς ἐμβλέψαι γλυκύ (ἐστιν) if any ill betide, 'tis sweet to look into the face of a loyal friend E. Ion 731, τί δεῖ καλῆς γυναικός, εἰ μὴ τὰ_ς φρένας χρηστὰ_ς ἔχοι; what boots the beauty of a woman if she have not a mind that is chaste? E. fr. 212.

b. The present indicative sometimes has the force of an emphatic future. Thus, πάντ᾽ ἔχεις, εἴ σε τούτων μοῖρ᾽ ἐφίκοιτο καλῶν thou hast all things, should the portion of these honours come to thee Pindar, Isthm. 4 (5). 14. Present and future occur together in Ant. 4. α. 4.

c. Other examples of the present: Hom. I 318, α 414, ε 484, η5 1, θ 138, ξ 56; Hesiod Op. 692 (εἴ κε); Pind. Pyth. 1. 81, 8. 13, Isthm. 2. 33; Bacchylides 5. 187; Hdt. 1.32; S. Ant. 1032, O. T. 249; E. Hec. 786, fr. 212, 253 (v.l.); T. 2.39, 3. 9, 4. 59, 6. 86; X. C. 1.6.43, H. 6. 3. 5, 6. 5. 52, O. 1. 4, 1. 5; P. A. 19e, Cr. 46 b, Pr. 316 c, 329 a, b, L. 927 c; Isocr. 14. 39; D. 18.21, 20. 54, 20. 154, 24. 35; Antiphanes fr. 324.

2361. Future Indicative.—εἰ σώσαιμί σ᾽, εἴσῃ μοι χάριν; should I save thee, wilt thou be grateful to me? E. frag. 129, τί τῷ πλήθει περιγενήσεται εἰ ποιήσαιμεν ἐκεῖνοι προστάττουσιν; what profit will there be for the people, if we should do what they enjoin? L. 34.6.

a. Other examples: Hom. I 388, K 222, Υ 100 (B 488, ρ 539, ἄν (κέ) with fut. or subj.); Pind. Ol. 1.3. 105; S. O. T. 851; Ant. 4. α. 4; T. 1.121; P. Meno 80 d, Ph. 91 a, L. 658 c; Isocr. 2. 45, 9. 66; Aristotle, Nic. Eth. 1095 b. 6, 1100 b. 4; Lucian, Timon 15.

2362. Perfect Indicative (very rare).—εἰ . . . διδάξειεν ὡς οἱ θεοὶ ἅπαντες τὸν τοιοῦτον θάνατον ἡγοῦνται ἄδικον εἶναι, τί μᾶλλον ἐγὼ μεμάθηκα . . . τί ποτ᾽ ἐστὶν τὸ ὅσιον; if he should prove that all the gods consider such a death unjust, how have I learned anything more of the nature of piety? P. Euth. 9c.

2363. Subjunctive (very rare).—““εἰ δὲ βούλοιό γε, καὶ τὴν μαντικὴν εἶναι συγχωρήσωμεν ἐπιστήμην τοῦ μέλλοντος ἔσεσθαιbut if you will, let us agree that mantic too is a knowledge of the futureP. Charm. 173c. Cp. X. O. 8.10; Λ 386 (ἄν with subj.), Ψ 893, δ 388 (?).

2364. Imperative.—““εἴ τις τάδε παραβαίνοι . . ., ἐναγὴς ἔστωif any one transgresses these injunctions, let him be accursedAes. 3.110 (quoted from an ancient imprecation), ““τὸ μὲν δὴ ἀργύριον, εἰ μή τις ἐπίσταιτο αὐτῷ χρῆσθαι, οὕτω πόρρω ἀπωθείσθω ὥστε μηδὲ χρήματα εἶναιbut as regards money then, if a man does not know how to use it, let him remove it so far from his consideration as not to be regarded even as propertyX. O. 1.14. Cp. P. Hipp. M. 297e, L. 642 a.

2365. An unreal indicative in conjunction with εἰ and the optative is very rare.

εἰ μὲν γὰρ εἰς γυναῖκα σωφρονεστέρα_ν ξίφος μεθεῖμεν, δυσκλεὴς ἂν ἦν φόνος (for ἂν εἴη) for if we should draw the sword upon a purer woman, foul were the murder E. Or. 1132. Cp. L. 10.8, X. C. 2.1.9 (text doubtful) and X. Ven. 12.22, P. Alc. 1, 111 e, Lyc. 66.


2366. A conditional sentence may have several protases and one apodosis or one protasis and several apodoses. Two such protases or apodoses are coördinate or one of the two is subordinate to the other.

2367. Two coördinated protases with a single apodosis, or two coördinated apodoses with a single protasis, may refer to the same time or to different times.

εἰ δὲ μήτ᾽ ἔστι (τι βέλτι_ον) μήτ᾽ ἦν μήτ᾽ ἂν εἰπεῖν ἔχοι μηδεὶς μηδέπω καὶ τήμερον, τί τὸν σύμβουλον ἐχρῆν ποιεῖν; but if there neither is nor was any better plan, and if yet even to-day no one can suggest any, what was it the duty of the statesman to do? D. 18.190, καὶ γὰρ ἂν καὶ ὑπερφυὲς εἴη, εἰ κατὰ μὲν τῶν Ὀλυνθίους προδόντων πολλὰ καὶ δείν᾽ ἐψηφίσασθε, τοὺς δὲ παρ᾽ ὑ_μῖν αὐτοῖς ἀδικοῦντας μὴ κολάζοντες φαίνοισθε and in fact it would be actually monstrous if, whereas you have passed many severe votes against the betrayers of the Olynthians, you appear not to punish the wrongdoers in your midst D. 19.267, εἰ ἐγὼ ἐπεχείρησα πρά_ττειν τὰ πολι_τικὰ πρά_γματα, πάλαι ἂν ἀπολώλη καὶ οὔτ᾽ ἂν ὑ_μᾶς ὠφελήκη οὐδὲν οὔτ᾽ ἂν ἐμαυτόν if I had tried to engage in politics, I should have long ago perished and benefited neither you nor myself at all P. A. 31d.

2368. When two or more protases are not coördinated in the same sentence, one is of chief importance and any other protasis is subordinate to it. Such protases may follow each other or one may be added after the apodosis; and may show the same or a different modal form.

ἀξιοῦμεν, εἰ μέν τινα ὁρᾶτε σωτηρία_ν ἡμῖν (ἐσομένην), ἐὰ_ν διακαρτερῶμεν πολεμοῦντες, διδάξαι καὶ ἡμᾶς κτλ. if you see any safety for us if we persist in making war, we beg that you will inform us too what it is X. H. 7.4.8 (here ἐὰ_ν διακαρτερῶμεν depends on εἰ ὁρᾶτε); ἐὰ_ν δὲ ἡδέα πρὸς λυ_πηρά (ἱστῇς), ἐὰ_ν μὲν τὰ ἀνια_ρὰ ὑπερβάλληται ὑπὸ τῶν ἡδέων, ἐά_ν τε τὰ ἐγγὺς ὑπὸ τῶν πόρρω ἐά_ν τε τὰ πόρρω ὑπὸ τῶν ἐγγύς, ταύτην τὴν πρᾶξιν πρα_κτέον ἐν ἂν ταῦτ᾽ ἐνῇ: ἐὰ_ν δὲ τὰ ἡδέα ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνια_ρῶν, οὐ πρα_κτέα but if you weight pleasures against pains, if on the one hand what is painful is exceeded by what is pleasurable (whether the near by the distant or the distant by the near), you must adopt that course of action in which this is the case; if on the other hand the pleasurable (is exceeded) by the painful, the former must not be adopted P. Pr. 356b (here to ἐὰ_ν ἡδέα ἱστῇς are subordinated ἐὰ_ν μέν and ἐὰ_ν δέ, and to ἐὰ_ν μέν are subordinated ἐά_ν τε . . . ἐά_ν τε); εἰ δέ σε ἠρόμην ἐξ ἀρχῆς τί ἐστι καλόν τε καὶ αἰσχρόν, εἴ μοι ἅπερ νῦν ἀπεκρί_νω, ἆρ᾽ οὐκ ἂν ὀρθῶς ἀπεκέκρισο; but if I had asked you at the start what beauty and ugliness is—if you had answered me as you have now done, would you not have answered me rightly? P. Hipp. M. 289c; ““ἢν μὲν πόλεμον αἱρῆσθε, μηκέτι ἥκετε δεῦρο ἄνευ ὅπλων, εἰ σωφρονεῖτεif you choose war, come no more hither without arms if you are wiseX. C. 3.2.13, εἰ μετὰ Θηβαίων ἡμῖν ἀγωνιζομένοις οὕτως εἵμαρτο πρᾶξαι, τί χρῆν προσδοκᾶν εἰ μηδὲ τούτους ἔσχομεν συμμάχους ἀλλὰ Φιλίππῳ προσέθεντο; if it was decreed by fate that we should fare thus with the Thebans fighting on our side, what ought we to have expected if we had not even secured them as allies but they had joined Philip? D. 18.195.

a. A second protasis may be added to the first protasis to explain or define it. Thus, καὶ οὐ τοῦτο λέξων ἔρχομαι ὡς πολὺ μὲν ἐλά_ττους πολὺ δὲ χείρονας ἔχων ὅμως συνέβαλεν: εἰ γὰρ ταῦτα λέγοιμι, Ἀ_γησίλα_όν τ᾽ ἄν μοι δοκῶ ἄφρονα ἀποφαίνειν καὶ ἐμαυτὸν μῶρον, εἰ ἐπαινοίην τὸν περὶ τῶν μεγίστων εἰκῇ κινδυ_νεύοντα and I am not going to say that he made the engagement in spite of having much fewer and inferior troops; for if I should maintain this, I think that I should be proving Agesilaus senseless and myself a fool, if I should praise the man who rashly incurs danger when the greatest interests are at stake X. Ag. 2. 7.

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