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2711. The infinitive not in indirect discourse has μή; the infinitive in indirect discourse has οὐ, but sometimes μή. The articular infinitive has μή. On the use with μὴ οὐ see 2742 ff.

a. The ordinary negative of the infinitive is μή, which could be so used since the infinitive was employed as early as Homer in an imperative sense. οὐ with the infinitive in indirect discourse is probably due to the analogy of οὐ with the indicative and optative in clauses of indirect discourse introduced by ὅτι (ὡς). οὐ became the natural negative of indirect discourse as soon as the infinitive came to represent the indicative or optative.

2712. μή is used with the articular infinitive.

““παράδειγμα τοῦ μὴ ὑ_μᾶς ἀδικεῖνa warning not to injure youL. 27.5, ““ὑπὲρ τοῦ μὴ τὸ κελευόμενον ποιῆσαιin order to avoid doing what was commandedD. 18.204. On τὸ (τοῦ) μὴ οὐ, see 2744. 9. 10, 2749 b, d.


2713. μή is the regular negative after all verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and substantives, which take an infinitive not in indirect discourse. Thus, after verbs and other words denoting ability, fitness, necessity (and their opposites). Cp. 2000-2007.

““εἰκὸς σοφὸν ἄνδρα μὴ ληρεῖνit is proper for a wise man not to talk idlyP. Th. 152b, ““τὰ_ς ὁμοία_ς χάριτας μὴ ἀντιδιδόναι αἰσχρόνit is disgraceful not to repay like servicesT. 3.63.

2714. χρή (χρῆν, ἐχρῆν) takes either μή or οὐ.

““χρὴ μὴ καταφρονεῖν τοῦ πλήθουςone must not despise the multitudeI. 5.79, ““χρῆν οὔ σ᾽ ἁμαρτάνεινthou oughtst not to do wrongE. Hipp. 507, χρῆ δ᾽ οὔποτ᾽ ““εἰπεῖν οὐδέν᾽ ὄλβιον βροτῶνit is not right ever to call any son of man happyE. And. 100.

a. For original οὐ χρή was substituted (for emphasis) χρὴ οὐ, where the οὐ was still taken with χρή; ultimately οὐ was felt to belong with the infinitive and hence came to be separated from χρή.

b. δεῖ takes μή, as ““μὴ ὀκνεῖν δεῖ αὐτούςthey must not fearT. 1.120. οὐ δεῖ may be used for δεῖ μή (2693). In ““δεῖ οὐχ ἁπλῶς εἰπεῖνone must not speak in a general wayI. 15.117 οὐχ is adherescent. Note οἶμαι δεῖν οὐ, φημὶ χρῆναι οὐ, οἶμαι χρῆναι μή.

2715. μή is used with the infinitive in wishes and prohibitions. Thus, ““θεοὶ πολῖται, μή με δουλεία_ς τυχεῖνye gods of my country, may bondage not be my lotA. Sept. 253, ““οἷς μὴ πελάζεινdo not approach theseA. Pr. 712.

2716. μή is used with the infinitive in oaths and protestations. Thus, ἴστω νῦν τόδε γαῖα . . . μή τί τοι αὐτῷ πῆμα κακὸν βουλευσέμεν ἄλλο let earth now know this (i.e. I swear by earth) that I will not devise any harmful mischief to thine own hurt ε 187. Cp. 2705 i.

2717. μή is used with the infinitive of purpose (cp. 2719) or result (2260). Cp. 2759. On ἐφ᾽ μή see 2279; on ὥστε οὐ see 2269.

2718. μή is used when the infinitive stands in apposition (1987), and hence is like τὸ μή with the infinitive. Thus, ““τοῦτο ἕν ἐστιν ὧν φημι, μηδένα ἂν ἐν βραχυτέροις ἐμοῦ τὰ αὐτὰ εἰπεῖνthis is one of the things I maintain—that no one can say the same things in fewer words than I canP. G. 449c. Cp. A. Pr. 173, 431, 435, P. R. 497b. Such cases are not to be confused with μή after verbs of asseveration or belief (2725).

2719. μή is used with the infinitive introduced by verbs of will or desire (1991) or by verbs expressing activity to the end that something shall or shall not be done; as ““τὴν Κέρκυ_ραν ἐβούλοντο μὴ προέσθαιthey wished not to give up CorcyraT. 1.44, ““φυλακὴν εἶχε μήτ᾽ ἐκπλεῖν . . . μηδένα μήτ᾽ ἐσπλεῖνhe kept guard against any one either sailing out or inT. 2.69.

2720. Verbs of commanding and exhorting (κελεύω, λέγω, βοῶ), asking (αἰτῶ, ἀξιῶ), advising (συμβουλεύω), and other verbs of will or desire of like meaning, take μή.

ἐκέλευε . . . μὴ ἐρεθίζειν he ordered him not to provoke his wrath P. R. 393e, ““ἔλεγον αὐτοῖς μὴ ἀδικεῖνthey told them not to commit injusticeT. 2.5, ““ἐβόων ἀλλήλοις μὴ θεῖνthey shouted to each other not to runX. A. 1.8.19, ἱ_κέτευε μὴ κτεῖναι he besought them not to kill him L. 1.25, ““συμβουλεύω σοι . . . μὴ ἀφαιρεῖσθαι ἂν δῷςI advise you not to take away what you may have givenX. C. 4.5.32.

2721. οὐ is used after verbs of will or desire only when it is attached to the leading verb or to some particular word; when it marks a contrast inserted parenthetically; where a compound negative takes up οὐ used with the leading verb; and when οὐδείς may be resolved into οὐ and τὶς, οὐ going with the leading verb. Examples in 2738.


2722. Verbs of saying and thinking take οὐ with the infinitive in indirect discourse. Here οὐ is retained from the direct discourse.

(ἀνάγκῃ) ““φαμεν οὐδένα θεῶν οὔτε μάχεσθαι τὰ νῦν οὔτε μαχεῖσθαί ποτεwe declare that no one of the gods either now contends with necessity, or ever willP. L. 818e ( = οὐδεὶς . . . μάχεται . . . μαχεῖται), ““λέγοντες οὐκ εἶναι αὐτόνομοιsaying that they were not independentT. 1.67, ( = οὔκ ἐσμεν), ““οἶμαι γὰρ ἂν οὐκ ἀχαρίστως μοι ἔχεινfor I think it would not be unattended with gratitude to meX. A. 2.3.18 ( = οὐκ ἂν ἔχοι), ““ἡγήσαντο ἡμᾶς οὐ περιόψεσθαιthey thought that we should not view it with indifferenceT. 1.39 ( = οὐ περιόψονται), ““ἐμοὶ δὲ δοκοῦσιν οὗτοι οὐ τὸ αἴτιον αἰτιᾶσθαιbut these persons seem to me not to blame the real causeP. R. 329b, ““ἐνόμισεν οὐκ ἂν δύνασθαι μένειν τοὺς πολιορκοῦνταςhe thought the besiegers would not be able to hold their positionX. A. 7.4.22 ( = οὐκ ἂν δύναιντο).

2723. Verbs of saying and thinking take μή in emphatic declarations and expressions of thought which involve a wish that the utterance may hold good. So with φημί, λέγω, ἡγοῦμαι, νομίζω, οἶμαι. Cp. 2725.

““φαίην δ᾽ ἂν ἔγωγε μηδενὶ μηδεμίαν εἶναι παίδευσιν παρὰ τοῦ μὴ ἀρέσκοντοςbut for my part I would maintain that no one gets any education from a teacher who is not pleasingX. M. 1.2.39, ““πάντες ἐροῦσι . . . μηδὲν εἶναι κερδαλεώτερον ἀρετῆςall will say that nothing is more profitable than braveryX. C. 7.1.18, τίς δ᾽ ἂν ἀνθρώπων θεῶν μὲν παῖδας ἡγοῖτο εἶναι, θεοὺς δὲ μή; who in the world would think that they were the sons of gods and not gods? P. A. 27d, ““ἀπῇσαν . . . νομίσαντες μὴ ἂν ἔτι . . . ἱκανοὶ γενέσθαι κωλῦσαι τὸν ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν τειχισμόνthey departed in the belief that they would no longer prove able to prevent the building of the wall to the seaT. 6.102.

a. Cp. P. Th. 155a (φημί), T. 1.139, 6. 49, P. R. 346e (λέγω), X. M. 1.2.41, D. 54.44 (οἶμαι), X. C. 7.5.59 (νομίζω), P. Soph. 230c (διανοοῦμαι).

b. Cases where the infinitive is in apposition, or depends on an imperative, or occurs after a condition, do not belong here.

2724. μή with the infinitive is often found after verbs denoting an oracular response or a judicial decision actual or implied. Cp. 2725. Thus, ““ἀνεῖλεν Πυ_θία_ μηδένα σοφώτερον εἶναιthe Pythian prophetess made answer that no one was wiserP. A. 21a (in direct discourse οὐδεὶς σοφώτερός ἐστι). So after κρί_νω, as ἔκρι_νε μὴ Ἀρίστωνος εἶναι Δημάρητον παῖδα the Pythian prophetess gave decisior that Demaretus was not the son of Ariston Hdt. 6.66, ““κέκρισθε . . . μόνοι τῶν πάντων μηδενὸς ἂν κέρδους τὰ κοινὰ δίκαια τῶν Ἑλλήνων προέσθαιyou are adjudged to be the only people who would not betray for lucre the common rights of the GreeksD. 6.10. So καταγιγνώσκω μή T. 7.51, X. C. 6.1.36.

2725. μή is often used with verbs and other expressions of asseveration and belief, after which we might expect οὐ with the infinitive in indirect discourse. Such verbs are those signifying to hope, expect, promise, put trust in, be persuaded, agree, testify, swear, etc. The use of μή indicates strong assurance, confidence, and resolve; and generally in regard to the future. Cp. 2723.

ἐλπὶς ὑ_μᾶς μὴ ὀφθῆναι there is hope that you will not be seen X. C. 2.4.23, ““ὑπι_σχνοῦντο μηδὲν χαλεπὸν αὐτοὺς πείσεσθαιthey promised that they should suffer no harmX. H. 4.4.5, ““πιστεύω . . . μὴ ψεύσειν με ταύτα_ς τὰ_ς ἀγαθὰ_ς ἐλπίδαςI trust that these good hopes will not deceive meX. C. 1.5.13, ““θαυμάζω ὅπως ἐπείσθησαν Ἀθηναῖοι Σωκράτην περὶ θεοὺς μὴ σωφρονεῖνI wonder how the Athenians were persuaded that Socrates did not hold temperate opinions regarding the godsX. M. 1.1.20, ““ὁμολογεῖ μὴ μετεῖναί οἱ μακρολογία_ςhe acknowledges that he cannot make a long speechP. Pr. 336b, ““αὐτὸς ἑαυτοῦ καταμαρτυρεῖ μὴ ἐξ ἐκείνου γεγενῆσθαιhe proves by his own testimony that he is not his sonD. 40.47, ““ὤμοσεν μὴν μὴ εἶναί οἱ υἱὸν ἄλλον μηδὲ γενέσθαι πώποτεhe swore that he had no other son and that none other had ever been born to himAnd. 1.126, ““ὤμνυε . . . μηδὲν εἰρηκέναιhe swore that he had said nothingD. 21.119, ““ὀμοῦμαι μήποτ᾽ . . . ἀλεξήσειν κακὸν ἦμαρI will swear that I will never ward off the evil dayΦ 373. Cp. Ar. Vesp. 1047, 1281, And. 1.90, Lyc. 76. With ὄμνυ_μι the infinitive may refer to the present, past, or future.

2726. Such verbs are hope ἐλπίζω; expect ἐλπίζω, προσδοκῶ, δοκῶ, οἴομαι, εἰκός ἐστι; promise ὑπισχνοῦμαι, ἐπαγγέλλομαι; swear ὄμνυ_μι; agree ὁμολογῶ, συγχωρῶ; pledge ἐγγυῶμαι; put trust in πιστεύω; am persuaded πέπεισμαι; testify μαρτυρῶ; repudiate ἀναίνομαι; threaten ἀπειλῶ, etc.

a. μή is regular after verbs of promising; common after verbs of hoping and swearing. With ὄμνυ_μι, πιστεύω, πείθομαι, μαρτυρῶ, etc. there is an idea of deprecation.

2727. ἐπίσταμαι and οἶδα usually take μή when they denote confident belief ( = I warrant from what I know; cp. πιστεύω μή, ὄμνυ_μι μή). Thus, ““ἐξίσταμαι μή του τόδ᾽ ἀγλάϊσμα πλὴν κείνου μολεῖνI assure you this fair offering has not come from any one save from himS. El. 908 (cp. Ant. 1092). In τοσοῦτόν γ᾽ οἶδα μήτε μ᾽ ἂν νόσον μήτ᾽ ἄλλο πέρσαι μηδέν so much at least I know—that neither sickness nor aught else can undo me (S. O. T. 1455) the infinitive may be appositional (2718). Cases of ἴσθι μή (be assured = I assure you) may have μή by reason of the imperative (2737 a). So S. Ph. 1329.

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