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2453. πρίν takes the infinitive in Attic especially when the principal clause is affirmative. The infinitive must be used, even with negative clauses, when πρίν must mean only before (and not until).

a. The infinitive is obligatory in Attic when the action of the πρίν clause does not take place or is not to take place (cp. ὥστε μή with the infinitive).

b. The infinitive takes the accusative when its subject is different from that of the principal clause.

c. The usual tense is the aorist, the tense of negation (2439) and of the simple occurrence of the action. Less frequent is the present (chiefly in Xenophon), of action continuing, repeated, or attempted (before undertaking to, before proceeding to). The perfect, of action completed with permanent result, is rare.

““οἱ καὶ πρὶν ἐμὲ εἰπεῖν ὁτιοῦν εἰδότεςwho know even before I say anything at allD. 18.50, ““σύνιστε μὲν καὶ πρὶν ἐμὲ λέγεινyou know as well as I do even before I proceed to set forth in detail the matter of my speechAes. 1.116, ἀπετράποντο ἐς τὴν πόλιν πρὶν ὑπερβαίνειν they turned back to the city before they attempted to scale the wall T. 3.24.

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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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