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267. Modal nature of the future.

The future was originally a mood, and this original modal force is regularly retained in dependent clauses, with the exception of the identifying relative, where it serves to describe a definite person or thing. In the principal clauses, this modal force is more or less effaced, just as the force of the English auxiliaries will and shall is more or less effaced according to the person employed. At the same time, it must be remembered that whenever we translate the Greek future by shall or will, we make an analysis for which the Greek language is not responsible. The periphrasis that comes nearest to the modal future is “μέλλω” with the infinitive.

As the modal use of the future in dependent clauses is not treated in the following sections, a few illustrative examples are here given.

παῖδες δέ μοι οὔπω εἰσὶν οἵ με θεραπεύσουσι,LYS. 24.6 ; And I have as yet no children who shall nurse me (= to nurse me).οὐδὲ” (sc. “πρέπει”) “τοιαῦτα λέγειν ἐξ ὧν βίος μηδὲν ἐπιδώσει”, ISOC.4.189.δεήσει δὲ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων βοσκημάτων παμπόλλων, εἴ τις αὐτὰ ἔδεται” (is to eat them), PLATO, Rpb. 373C. “καὶ μὴν ἀνδρεῖόν γε” (sc. “δεῖ ἑκάτερον εἶναι”), “εἴπερ εὖ μαχεῖται” (is to be a good fighter), Ibid. 375 A. (Here “εἴπερ . . . μαχεῖται” is parallel with “ἐὰν δέῃ . . . διαμάχεσθαι” just preceding.)

On the Gnomic Future, see 257-8.

For examples of the Future in the Apodosis of an Ideal Condition, see Ideal Conditional Sentences.

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