Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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INDICATIVE WITH ἄν 1784

Past Potential.—The past tenses (usually the aorist, less commonly the imperfect) of the indicative with ἄν (κέν) denote past potentiality, probability (cautious statement), or necessity: ὃ οὐκ ἂν ᾤοντο which they could not have expected T. 7.55, τίς γὰρ ἂν ᾠήθη ταῦτα γενέσθαι; for who would have expected these things to happen? D. 9.68 (note that ἄν does not go with γενέσθαι by cross1764), ἔγνω ἄν τις one might (could, would) have known X. C. 7.1.38, ὑπό κεν ταλασίφρονά περ δέος εἷλεν fear might have seized even a man of stout heart Δ 421.

a. This is especially frequent with τὶς and with the ideal second person (cp. putares, crederes): ἐπέγνως ἄν you would (could, might) have observed X. C. 8.1.33.

b. The potential optative ( cross1829) in Homer refers also to the past.

1785

A protasis may often be extracted from a participle, or is intimated in some other word; but there is no reference to any definite condition, hence a definite ellipsis is not to be supplied.

1786

Unreal Indicative.—The indicative of the historical tenses with ἄν (κέν) may denote unreality: τότε δ' αὐτὸ τὸ πρᾶγμ' ἂν ἐκρί_νετο ἐφ' αὑτοῦ but the case would then have been decided on its own merits D. 18.224, καί κεν πολὺ κέρδιον ἦεν and in that case it were far better Γ 41.

1787

This use of the indicative with ἄν to denote unreality is not inherent in the meaning of the past tenses of that mood, but has been developed from the

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past potential with which the unreal indicative is closely connected. On the common use of this construction in the apodosis of unreal conditions see cross2303. On ἔδει ἄν, etc., see cross2315.

1788

The imperfect refers to the present or the past, the aorist to the past (rarely to the present), the pluperfect to the present (less commonly to the past).

1789

ἐβουλόμην ἄν (vellem) I should like or should have liked may express an unattainable wish: ἐβουλόμην ἂν Σίμωνα τὴν αὐτὴν γνώμην ἐμοὶ ἔχειν I should have liked Simon to be (or I wish Simon were) of the same mind as myself L. 3.21. On ἐβουλόμην without ἄν, see cross1782.

1790

Iterative Indicative (repeated action).—The imperfect and aorist with ἄν are used to express repeated or customary past action (post-Homeric): διηρώτων ἄν I used to ask P. A. 22b, ἂν ἔλεξεν he was wont to say X. C. 7.1.10.

1791

This construction is connected with the past potential and denoted originally what could or would take place under certain past circumstances. Thus, ἀναλαμβάνων οὖν αὐτῶν τὰ ποιήματα . . . διηρώτων ἂν αὐτοὺς τί λέγοιεν accordingly, taking up their poems, I used to (would) ask them (as an opportunity presented itself) what they meant P. A. 22b. In actual use, since the action of the verb did take place, this construction has become a statement of fact.

1792

In Herodotus this construction is used with the iterative forms: κλαίεσκε ἄν she kept weeping 3. 119, οἱ δὲ ἂν Πέρσαι λάβεσκον τὰ πρόβατα the Persians were wont to seize the cattle 4. 130.

1793

Homer and the early poets use ἄν (κέν) with the future indicative with a conditional or limiting force: καί κέ τις ὧδ' ἐρέει and in such a case some one will (may) say thus Δ 176. This use is found also in conditional relative sentences ( cross2565 b). In Attic ἄν is found with the future in a few passages which are now generally emended. In P. A. 29c there is an anacoluthon.

1794

ἄν is not used with the present and perfect indicative.

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Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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