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410. When the protasis states a present or past supposition, implying that the condition is not or was not fulfilled, and the apodosis expresses what would be (or would have been) the result if that condition were (or had been) fulfilled, the past tenses of the indicative are used in both protasis and apodosis, and the apodosis contains the adverb ἄν.

The imperfect here, in either protasis or apodosis, refers to present time or to an act as going on or repeated in past time, the aorist to a simple occurrence in past time, and the (rare) pluperfect to an act completed in past or present time. E.g. Εἰ τοῦτο ἔπρασσε, καλῶς ἂν εἶχεν, if he were (now) doing this, it would be well (implying that he is not doing it). This may also mean if he had been doing this, it would have been well (implying that he was not doing it). The context must decide, in each case, to which time the imperfect refers. Εἰ τοῦτο ἔπραξε, καλῶς ἂν ἔσχεν, if he had done this, it would have been well (implying that he did not do it). Εἰ τοῦτο ἐπεπράχει, καλῶς ἂν εἶχεν, if he had finished doing this (now or at any past time), it would be well (implying either he has not or he had not finished it).

Impf. of Present Time.) Εἰ δέ μ᾽ ὧδ᾽ ἀεὶ λόγους ἐξῆρχες, οὐκ ἂν ἦσθα λυπηρὰ κλύειν, if you always began your talk to me in this way, you would not be offensive to listen to (as you are). SOPH. El. 556.So SOPH. El. 992, SOPH. El. 1331, O. T. 1511; and Sept. 662, Ag. 1395. Καὶ νῦν εἰ φοβερόν τι ἐνωρῶμεν, πᾶν ἄν σοι προεφράζομεν, if we saw any cause of alarm, we should tell it all to you. HDT. i. 120. Ταῦτα οὐκ ἂν ἐδύναντο ποιεῖν, εἰ μὴ καὶ διαίτῃ μετρίᾳ ἐχρῶντο, they would not be able to do this, if they did not lead an abstemious life. XEN. Cyr. i. 2, 16. Εὖ ἴσθ᾽ ὅτι εἴ τι ἐμοῦ ἐκήδου, οὐδενὸς ἂν οὕτω με ἀποστερεῖν ἐφυλάττου ὡς ἀξιώματος καὶ τιμῆς, if you cared for me at all, you would take precaution, etc. Ib. v. 5, Ib. 34. Πολὺ ἂν θαυμαστότερον ἦν, εἰ ἐτιμῶντο, it would be much more wonderful, if they were honoured. PLAT. Rep. 489B. Λέγουσι πάντα ἔχει: καίτοι εἰ μὴ ἐτύγχανεν αὐτοῖς ἐπιστήμη ἐνοῦσα, οὐκ ἂν οἷοί τ᾽ ἦσαν τοῦτο ποιήσειν, they tell everything as it is: and yet if knowledge did not chance to be in them, they could not do this. Plat. Phaed. 73A. Οὐχ οὕτω δ᾽ ἂν προθύμως ἐπὶ τὸν πόλεμον ὑμᾶς παρεκάλουν, εἰ μὴ τὴν εἰρήνην ἑώρων αἰσχρὰν ἐσομένην, I should not exhort you, did I not see (as I do), etc. ISOC. vi. 87.

Impf. of Past Time.) “Καὶ ταῦτ᾽ ἂν οὐκ ἔπρασσον, εἰ μή μοι πικρὰς αὐτῷ τ᾽ ἀρὰς ἠρᾶτο,” “and this I should never have done, had he not invoked bitter curses on myself.” SOPH. O.C. 951. Οὐκ ἂν νήσων ἐκράτει, εἰ μή τι καὶ ναυτικὸν εἶχεν, he would not have been master of islands, if he had not had also some naval force (implying ναυτικὸν εἶχεν and νήσων ἐκράτει, he had a navy, for he was master of islands). THUC. i. 9. (Ταῦτα) οὐκ ἂν προέλεγεν, εἰ μὴ ἐπίστευεν ἀληθεύσειν, he would not have declared these things (referring to several), had he not been confident that he should speak the truth. XEN. Mem. i. 1, 5. Εἰ ἦσαν ἄνδρες ἀγαθοὶ, ὡς σὺ φῂς, οὐκ ἄν ποτε ταῦτα ἔπασχον, if they had been good men, as you say, they would never have suffered these things (referring to several cases). PLAT. Gorg. 516E.

Aorist of Past Time.) Εἰ μὴ ὅρκοις ᾑρέθην, οὐκ ἄν ποτ᾽ ἔσχον μὴ οὐ τάδ᾽ ἐξειπεῖν πατρί, had I not been bound by oaths, I should never have refrained, etc. EUR. Hipp. 657. Καὶ ἴσως ἂν διὰ ταῦτ᾽ ἀπέθανον, εἰ μὴ ἀρχὴ διὰ ταχέων κατελύθη. PLAT. Ap. 32D. Τί ποτ᾽ ἂν ἔπαθον ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν, εἰ πλείω χρόνον ἐπετροπεύθην; εἰ κατελείφθην μὲν ἐνιαύσιος, ἓξ ἔτη δὲ προσεπετροπεύθην ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν, οὐδ᾽ ἂν τὰ μικρὰ ταῦτα παρ᾽ αὐτῶν ἀπέλαβον. DEM. xxvii. 63. Εἰ τοίνυν Φίλιππος τότε ταύτην ἔσχε τὴν γνώμην, οὐδὲν ἂν ὧν νυνὶ πεποίηκεν ἔπραξεν, οὐδὲ τοσαύτην ἐκτήσατο δύναμιν. Id. iv. 5.

Different tenses in Protasis and Apodosis.) Εἰ μὴ ὑμεῖς ἤλθετε, ἐπορευόμεθα ἂν ἐπὶ βασιλέα, if you had not come, we should (now) be on our way to the King. XEN. An. ii. 1, 4. εἰ ἀπεκρίνω, XEN. An. i ῾κανῶς ἂν ἤδη παρὰ σοῦ τὴν ὁσιότητα ἐμεμαθήκη, if you had given this answer, I should have already learned, etc. PLAT. Euthyph. 14 C. Λοιπὸν δ᾽ ἂν ἦν ἡμῖν ἔτι περὶ τῆς πόλεως διαλεχθῆναι τῆς ἡμετέρας, εἰ μὴ προτέρα τῶν ἄλλων τὴν εἰρήνην ἐπεποίητο. (This implies ἀλλὰ τὴν εἰρήνην προτέρα πεποίηται.) ISOC. v. 56. Εἰ γὰρ ἐκ τοῦ παρεληλυθότος χρόνου τὰ δέοντα οὗτοι συνεβούλευσαν, οὐδὲν ἂν ὑμᾶς νῦν ἔδει βουλεύεσθαι, if they had given the necessary advice in time past, there would now be no need of your deliberating. DEM. iv. 1. Τῶν ἀδικημάτων ἂν ἐμέμνητο τῶν αὑτοῦ, εἴ τι περὶ ἐμοῦ γ᾽ ἔγραφεν. Id. xviii. 79.

These examples show the fully developed construction, as it appears in the Attic writers and in Herodotus. For the more primitive Homeric usage, see 435 and 438.

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