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2688. The simple negative particles are οὐ and μή. οὐ is the negative of fact and statement, and contradicts or denies; μή is the negative of the will and thought, and rejects or deprecates. The difference between the simple negatives holds true also of their compounds οὔτε μήτε, οὐδέ μηδέ, οὐδείς μηδείς, etc.

a. τὰ οὐκ ὄντα is that which does not exist independently of any opinion of the writer: τὰ οὐκ ὄντα λογοποιεῖν to fabricate what does not actually exist And. 3.35. τὰ μὴ ὄντα is that which is regarded as not existing, that which is dependent on the opinion of the writer, the whole sum of things that are outside of actual knowledge: τὰ μὴ ἐόντα οὔτε ὁρᾶται οὔτε γι_νώσκεται that which does not exist is neither seen nor known Hippocrates, de arte § 2; cp. τὸ μὴ ὄν P. R. 478b.

b. The rarer οὐχί (οὐ-χί) denies with greater emphasis than οὐ. The form μηκέτι no longer is due to the analogy of οὐκ-έτι.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.6.1
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