previous next


a Conditional Conjunction, Lat. si, if; and in indirect questions, whether.
A.with a verb in protasis, answered by a similar tense in apodosis:
1.with pres. and fut. ind., to express mere Possibility, εἰ τοῦτο ποιεῖ (or ποιήσει), ἁμαρτάνει (or ἁμαρτήσεται) if he is doing (or shall do) this, he is (or will be) wrong.
2.with imperf. and aor. ind., to express Impossibility, εἰ τοῦτο ἐποίει, ἡμάρτανεν ἄν if he was doing this, he would be wrong; εἰ τοῦτο ἐποίησεν, ἥμαρτεν ἄν if he did (or had done) this, he would be wrong.
3.with opt. to express a mere Assumption, εἰ τοῦτο ποιοῖ, ἁμαρτάνοι ἄν if he were to do this, he would be wrong.
4.with Subjunctive, to express Possibility with some degree of Probability: in this case ἄν is always added, and εἰ ἄν becomes ἐάν, ἤν, ἄν, (epic εἴ κεν), ἐὰν τοῦτο ποιῇ, ἁμαρτήσεται if he do this, he will be wrong.
II.sometimes the apodosis is omitted, so that εἰ expresses a wish, εἴ μοι γένοιτο φθόγγος if I had a voice, [I would . . ], i. e. Oh that I had a voice! so εἰ γάρ, εἴθε, epic αἰ γάρ, αἴθε.
2.sometimes the protasis is omitted, εἰ δ᾽ ἄγε come on, = εἰ δὲ [βούλει], ἄγε, Od.; εἰ δέ, σὺ μὲν ἄκουσον Il.
B.In Indirect Questions, whether, Lat. an, followed by the ind., subj., or opt., according to the principles of oratio obliqua:
1.with INDIC. or SUBJ. after primary tenses, οὐκ οἶδ᾽, εἰ θεός ἐστιν whether he is a god, Il.; οὐκ οἶδ᾽ εἰ δῶ whether I shall give, Xen.
2.with OPTAT. after past tenses, ἤρετο εἴ τις ἐμοῦ εἴη σοφώτερος he asked whether any one was wiser than I, Plat.
II.after Verbs expressive of wonder, indignation, etc., θαυμάζω εἰ μηδεὶς ὀργίζεται, where εἰ nearly = ὅτι, Dem.; ἀγανακτεῖ εἰ μὴ στεφανωθήσεται Aeschin.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Dictionary Entry Lookup
Use this tool to search for dictionary entries in all lexica.
Search for in
How to enter text in Greek:
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: