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493. These Homeric expressions (491), in which nearly all the force is in the protasis, so that the apodosis is not only suppressed but hardly felt at all, helps to show how the particle εἰ came to be an indirect interrogative, in the sense of whether. But in Attic Greek, where the interrogative use is fully established, only the simple εἰ (never ἤν or ἐάν) can mean whether, even when the verb is subjunctive (680).

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