Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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The future denotes an action that will take place at some future time: λήψεται μισθὸν τάλαντον he shall receive a talent as his reward X. A. 2.2.20.

a. The action is future according to the opinion, expectation, hope, fear, or purpose of the speaker or the agent.

b. The action of the future is either continuative (like the present) or, like that of the aorist, expresses simple attainment. Thus πείσω means I shall try to persuade , or I shall convince (resultative), βασιλεύσω I shall be king, shall reign or I shall become king (ingressive).


When a verb has two futures, that formed from the same stem as the present is properly continuative, that formed from the aorist stem marks simple attainment: thus, ἕξω I shall have, σχήσω I shall get; as καὶ ταῦτ' εἰκότως οὕτως

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ὑπελάμβανον ἕξειν and I supposed with reason that this would continue so D. 19.153, Θηβαῖοι ἔχουσι μὲν ἀπεχθῶς, ἔτι δ' ἐχθροτέρως σχήσουσιν the Thebans are hostile and will become still more so 5. 18. (But ἕξω usually does duty for σχήσω.) So, ἀχθέσομαι shall be angry, ἀχθεσθήσομαι shall get angry, φοβήσομαι shall continue fearful, φοβηθήσομαι shall be terrified, αἰσχυνοῦμαι shall feel (continued) shame, αἰσχυνθήσομαι shall be ashamed (on a single occasion). Cp. cross1738.


The future represents both our shall and will. When voluntative (will), the action of the subject may be (1) the result of his own decision, as οὐ δὴ ποιήσω τοῦτο that I never will do D. 18.11, or (2) dependent on the will of another, as ἡ βουλὴ μέλλει αἱρεῖσθαι ὅστις ἐρεῖ ἐπὶ τοῖς ἀποθανοῦσι the Senate is about to choose some one to speak over the dead P. Menex. 234b. The use of the future is often similar to that of the subjunctive, especially in dependent clauses.


Verbs of wishing, asking, and other voluntative verbs may appear in the future where English has the present: τοσοῦτον οὖν σου τυγχάνειν βουλήσομαι I (shall) wish to obtain only so much at thy hands E. Med. 259, παραιτήσομαι δ' ὑ_μᾶς μηδὲν ἀχθεσθῆναί μοι I (shall) beg you not to take any offence at me D. 21.58. Cp. Lat. censebo.

a. In many cases the use of the future indicates that the wish remains unchanged; and there is no reference to a future act. Sometimes the future appears to be a more modest form of statement than the present.


Gnomic Future.—The future may express a general truth: ἀνὴρ ἐπιεικὴς υἱὸν ἀπολέσα_ς ῥᾷστα οἴσει τῶν ἄλλων a reasonable man, if he loses a son, will (is expected to) bear it more easily than other men P. R. 603e (cp. cross1434).

a. Hdt. uses the future in descriptions of customs and in directions to travellers (1. 173, 2. cross29).


Future for Present.—The future may be used instead of the present of that which is possible at the moment of speaking: εὑρήσομεν τοὺς φιλοτί_μους τῶν ἀνδρῶν . . . ἀντὶ τοῦ ζῆν ἀποθνῄσκειν εὐκλεῶς αἱρουμένους we shall find that ambitious men choose a glorious death in preference to life I. 9.3.

a. The future may denote present intention: αἶρε πλῆκτρον, εἰ μαχεῖ raise your spur if you mean to fight Ar. Av. 759 (in this use μέλλω is more common ( cross1959)). So in the tragic τί λέξεις; what do you mean? E. Med. 1310.


Deliberative Future.—The future is often used in deliberative questions: τί ἐροῦμεν ἢ τί φήσομεν; what shall we say or what shall we propose? D. 8.37.

a. The deliberative future may occur in connection with the deliberative subjunctive ( cross1805): εἴπωμεν ἢ σι_γῶμεν; ἢ τί δρά_σομεν; shall we speak or keep silent? or what shall we do? E. Ion 758.


Jussive Future.—The future may express a command, like the imperative; and, in the second person, may denote concession or

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permission. The negative is οὐ. The tone of the jussive future (which is post-Homeric) is generally familiar.

ὣς οὖν ποιήσετε you will do thus P. Pr. 338a, ἀναγνώσεται τὸν νόμον—ἀναγίγνωσκε the clerk will read the law—read D. 24.39, αὐτὸς γνώσει you will judge for yourself P. Phil. 12a, σπουδὴ ἔσται τῆς ὁδοῦ you will have to hurry on the march T. 7.77, ὑ_μεῖς οὖν, ἐὰ_ν σωφρονῆτε, οὐ τούτου ἀλλ' ὑ_μῶν φείσεσθε now, if you are wise, you will spare, not him, but yourselves X. H. 2.3.34.


The future with οὐ interrogative is used in questions in an imperative sense to express urgency, warning, or irony: οὐκ ἔξιμεν . . . οὐκ ἐπὶ τὴν ἐκείνου πλευσόμεθα; shall we not go forth . . . shall we not set sail against his country? D. 4.44, οὐ φυλάξεσθε; will you not be on your guard? 6. 25. In exhortations addressed to oneself: οὐκ ἀπαλλαχθήσομαι θυ_μοῦ; shall I not cease from my passion? E. Med. 878.

a. μή with the future in a prohibitive sense is used in a few suspected passages (L. 29.13, D. 23.117).


οὐ μή with the second person singular of the future in the dramatic poets denotes a strong prohibition; as οὐ μὴ διατρί_ψεις don't dawdle (you shall not dawdle) Ar. Ran. 462. οὐ μή with any person of the future indicative occasionally denotes an emphatic future denial; as τοὺς πονηροὺς οὐ μή ποτε βελτί_ους ποιήσετε you will never make the bad better Aes. 3.177.


ὅπως and ὅπως μή are used with the future in urgent exhortations and prohibitions: ὅπως οὖν ἔσεσθε ἄξιοι τῆς ἐλευθερία_ς prove yourselves then worthy of freedom X. A. 1.7.3, ὅπως τοίνυν περὶ τοῦ πολέμου μηδὲν ἐρεῖς say nothing therefore about the war D. 19.92. For the fuller form of this use after σκόπει, σκοπεῖτε. see cross2213.


ὅπως μή (negative ὅπως μὴ οὐ) may express the desire to avert something; as ὅπως μὴ αἰσχροὶ φαινούμεθα mind we don't appear base X. C. 4.2.39, ἀλλ' ὅπως μὴ οὐχ οἷός τ' ἔσομαι but (I fear that) I shall not be able P. R. 506d. Cp. cross1802, cross1803, 2229.


On ἄν (κέ) with the future indicative, see cross1793. On the periphrastic future see cross1959; on the future in dependent clauses, see cross2203, cross2211, 2220 a, 2229, 2231, 2328, 2549-2551, 2554, 2558, 2559, 2565 a, 2573 c.

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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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