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2481. ὡς, ὡς εἰ, ὡς εἴ τε as if, ὡς ὅτε, ὡς ὁπότε as when are often used in poetry in similes and comparisons.

a. The present and aorist indicative and subjunctive (usually without ἄν) are regularly used. The optative occurs only with ὡς εἰ or ὡς εἴ τε. The verb of the apodosis may sometimes be supplied from the main clause, and the sense may be satisfied in other cases by supplying as happens, as is the case; but as early as Homer the ellipsis was probably unconscious, as it is in English as if, as when. Hence ὡς εἰ, ὡς ὅτε are scarcely to be distinguished from ὡς.

b. The tense of the main clause may be primary or secondary without influence on the construction. Cp. 1935 and 1935 a.

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