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96. A present or aorist infinitive (without ἄν) not in indirect discourse is still a verbal noun so far that it expresses no time except such as is implied in the context. Thus, when it depends on a verb of wishing or commanding or any other verb whose natural object is a future action, or when it expresses purpose, it is future without regard to its tense; as, in βούλομαι νικᾶν (or νικῆσαι), I wish to be victorious (or to gain victory), the infinitive expresses time only so far as the noun νίκην would in βούλομαι νίκην. Likewise, when the present or aorist infinitive (without ἄν) has the article, except in the rare cases in which it stands in indirect discourse (794), it has no reference to time in itself; as in τὸ γνῶναι ἐπιστήμην λαβεῖν ἐστιν, to learn is to obtain knowledge, where γνῶναι expresses time only as the noun γνῶσις would in its place. E.g.

No account is here taken of the infinitive with ἄν (204).

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