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2359. εἰ with the optative (instead of ἐά_ν with the subjunctive) is not infrequent in the protasis with a primary tense of the indicative, a subjunctive, or an imperative, in the apodosis. The reference is usually either to general present time (with the present indicative), or to future time. When the apodosis contains a present indicative it frequently precedes the protasis.

a. Compare the analogous usage in English commonly with should, would: “There is some soul of goodness in things evil, would men observingly distil it” (Shakespeare). “If you should die, my death shall follow yours” (Dryden). “I shall scarcely figure in history, if under my guidance such visitations should accrue” (Disraeli). “If he should kill thee . . ., he has nothing to lose” (Sedley). “But if an happy soil should be withheld . . . think it not beneath thy toil” (Philips).

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.2.4
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