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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.

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