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423.Ἔδει ἄν, etc.) The examples in 421, 1 and 2, show that the common rule for distinguishing ἔδει etc. with the infinitive (without ἄν) from ἔδει ἄν etc. with the infinitive,—that the former is used when the action of the infinitive is denied, the latter when the obligation, propriety, or possibility is denied, —often cannot be applied, though as a working rule it can be used in the great majority of cases. While there are many sentences in which either form would express the required sense, the essential distinction is, that the form without ἄν is used when the chief force of the apodosis falls on the infinitive, the leading verb being an auxiliary (see 420); but the leading verb takes ἄν when the chief force falls on the necessity, propriety, or possibility of the act, rather than on the act itself.

The following examples will illustrate the form with ἄν:—

Εἰ μὲν γὰρ ἐγὼ ἔτι ἐν δυνάμει ἦν τοῦ ῥᾳδίως πορεύεσθαι πρὸς τὸ ἄστυ, οὐδὲν ἄν σε ἔδει δεῦρο ἰέναι: ἀλλ᾽ ἡμεῖς ἂν παρὰ σὲ ᾖμεν: νῦν δέ σε χρὴ πυκνότερον δεῦρο ἰέναι, i.e. in that case there would be no need (as there now is) of your coming hither. PLAT. Rep. 328 C. Τῷ μὲν πατρὶ αὐτῆς, εἰ παῖδες ἄρρενες μὴ ἐγένοντο, οὐκ ἂν ἐξῆν ἄνευ ταύτης διαθέσθαι, her father, if he had had no male children, would not have been allowed to leave her out of his will (implying ἀλλ᾽ ἐξῆν). ISAE. x. 13. Εἰ οὖν παρεκαλοῦμεν ἀλλήλους ἐπὶ τὰ οἰκοδομικὰ, πότερον ἔδει ἂν ἡμᾶς σκέψασθαι ἡμᾶς αὐτοὺς καὶ ἐξετάσαι εἰ ἐπιστάμεθα τὴν τέχνην; ἔδει ἂν οὔ; i.e. in that case would it be needful or not to examine ourselves and inquire whether we understand the art? PLAT. Gorg. 514A. See also DEM. iv. 1, quoted in 410.

A comparison of these examples with those in 422, 1, will show the distinction between the two forms and also the narrowness of the line which sometimes separates them.

For a discussion of χρῆν and χρῆν ἄν in DEM. xviii. 195, and of χρῆν and ἐχρῆν ἄν in LYS. xii. 32 and 48, and for other remarks on these constructions, see Appendix V.

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