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2737. Where μή is used when we expect οὐ the negative expression usually depends on a verb that either has μή or would have it, if negatived.

a. After imperatives. Thus, σάφ᾽ ἴσθι μή με θωπεύσοντά σε know well that I shall not fawn upon thee E. Heracl. 983, ““νόμιζε μηδὲν εἶναι τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων βέβαιον εἶναιconsider nothing in human life to be secureI. 1.42 ( = μὴ νόμιζέ τι κτλ.), ““ὡς οὖν μὴ μόνον κρί_νοντες, ἀλλὰ καὶ θεωρούμενοι, οὕτω τὴν ψῆφον φέρετεcast your ballots then in the belief not only that you are passing judgment but also that the eyes of the world are upon youAes. 3.247 (cp. 2732). See also 2086 b.

b. After conditional expressions. Thus, ““εἰ δέ τις . . . νομίζει τι μὴ ἱκανῶς εἰρῆσθαιbut if any one thinks some point has not been sufficiently mentionedAnd. 1.70, λύ_σετε δὲ οὐδὲ τὰ_ς Λακεδαιμονίων σπονδὰ_ς δεχόμενοι ( = ἐὰ_ν δέχησθε) ἡμᾶς μηδετ<*>´οων ὄντας ξυμμάχους and by receiving us, who are allies of neither, you will not be violating the treaty with the Lacedaemonians either T. 1.35. Cp. 2736 a.

c. Other cases: ““κελεύει μεῖναι ἐπὶ τοῦ ποταμοῦ μὴ διαβάνταςhe ordered them to remain by the river without crossingX. A. 4.3.28 (here μεῖναι, if negatived, would take μή, 2720), ““ὑπέσχετο εἰρήνην ποιήσειν μήτε ὅμηρα δοὺς μήτε τὰ τείχη καθελώνhe promised that he would bring peace about without giving hostages or destroying the wallsL. 12.68 (here ποιήσειν, if negatived, would take μή, 2725).

N.—But οὐ may assert itself even under the above circumstances; as μὴ γε οὐ χρὴ ποίει don't do what is really wrong P. Eu. 307b, ““ ἀφί_ετέ με μὴ ἀφί_ετε ὡς ἐμοῦ οὐκ ἂν ποιήσαντος ἄλλαeither acquit me or do not acquit me in the knowledge that I should not act otherwiseP. A. 30b (cp. 2732), ““εἰ νομίζεις οὐχ ὑφέξειν τὴν δίκηνif thou thinkest not to suffer the penaltyS. O. T. 551 ( = οὐχ ὑφέξω), εἰ γνωσθησόμεθα ξυνελθόντες μέν, ἀμύ_νεσθαι δὲ οὐ (some Mss.) ““τολμῶντεςif we shall be known to have come together, and yet not to have the courage to avenge ourselvesT. 1.124 (it would be said of them: ξυνῆλθον μέν, ἀμύ_νεσθαι δὲ οὐκ ἐτόλμων, a contrast, cp. 2690).

d. On μή in questions where we might expect οὐ, see 2676 b.

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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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