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246. When no definite condition is understood with the potential indicative, the imperfect with ἄν regularly refers to past time, according to the older usage (435), like the aorist; as in the examples above.

The imperfect referring to present time, which is common in apodosis after Homer (410), appears in these potential expressions chiefly in a few simple phrases, especially in ἐβουλόμην ἄν, vellem, I should wish, I should like (also I should have liked). Even in Homer the construction with ὤφελον and the infinitive (424), which includes a form of potential indicative (415; 416), sometimes refers to present time. E.g.

See LYCURG. 3. (For ἐβουλόμην ἄν as past, see SOPH. Ph. 1239, quoted in 245.) See also AR. Nub. 680,ἐκεῖνο δ᾽ ἦν ἂν καρδόπη, Κλεωνύμη” , and this would be καρδόπη, etc. For βουλοίμην ἄν, velim, see 236.

For ὤφελον and the infinitive as present in Homer, see 424.

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