ImperfectThe imperfect expresses past time and continuing aspect.
- Specific Imperfect: The imperfect denotes an action that is continuing in a past time or is still incomplete in the present. Smyth 1889-1892 “διέφθειραν Ἀθηναίων πίντε καὶ εἴκοσι οἳ ξυνεπολιορκοῦντο” Thuc. 3.68; they put to death twenty-five of the Athenians who were besieged (i.e. from the beginning to the end of the siege)
- Conative Imperfect: The imperfect can denote an action that was attempted in a past time. Smyth 1895 “Θηβαῖοι κατεδουλοῦντ᾽ αὐτούς” Dem. 8.74; the Thebans tried to enslave them
- Iterative Imperfect: The imperfect can denote a repeated action in past time when accompanied by ἄν. Smyth 1893-1894 “ἐπεθύμει ἄν τις ἔτι πλείω αὐτοῦ ἀκούειν” Xen. Cyrop. 1.4.3; people would (used to) desire to hear still more from him
- Present Contrafactual Conditions: The imperfect indicative stands in the protasis of present contrafactual conditions. The imperfect indicative with ἄν stands in the apodosis. Smyth 2302-2312 “εἰ γὰρ ἐκήδου, ἧκες ἂν φέρων πλήρη τὸν μισθὸν” Xen. Anab. 7.5.5; If you were troubled, you would have come with full pay
- Past Contrafactual Condition: The aorist or imperfect indicative stands in the protasis of past contrafactual conditions. The aorist or imperfect indicative with ἄν stands in the apodosis. Smyth 2302-2312 “οὐκ ἂν ἐποίησεν Ἀγασίας ταῦτα, εἰ μὴ ἐγὼ αὐτὸν ἐκέλευσα” Xen. Anab. 6.6.15; Agasias would not have done this, if I had not commanded him
- Past Simple Conditions: The imperfect, aorist, or pluperfect indicative stands in the protasis and apodosis of past simple conditions. Smyth 2298-2301 “εἴ τέ τι ἄλλο . . . ἐγένετο ἐπικίνδυνον τοῖς Ἕλλησι, πάντων . . . μετέσχομεν” Thuc. 3.54; and if any other danger befell the Greeks, we took our share in all
- Past General Conditions: The optative with εἰ stands in the protasis of past general conditions. The imperfect indicative stands in the apodosis. Smyth 2340-2341 “εἰ δέ τις καὶ ἀντείποι, εὐθὺς . . . ἐτεθνήκει” Thuc. 8.66; but if any one even made an objection, he was promptly put to death