Less vivid future conditions (
εἰ ταῦτα ποιοίης, καλῶς ἂν ποιοίης or εἰ ταῦτα ποιήσειας, καλῶς ἂν ποιήσειας
εἴης φορητὸς οὐκ ἄν, εἰ πρά_σσοις καλῶς
δεινὰ ἂν εἴην εἰργασμένος, . . . εἰ λίποιμι τὴν τάξιν
a. Anything physically impossible may be represented as supposable, hence this construction may be used of what is contrary to fact. Thus,
φαίη δ' ἂν ἡ θανοῦσά γ' ει' φωνὴν λάβοι
Conditional sentences of this class arose partly from optatives of wish ( cross1814, cross1815), partly from potential optatives ( cross1824). Cp. εἴθ' ὧς ἡβώοιμι . . . τῷ κε τάχ' ἀντήσειε μάχης . . . Ἕκτωρ
The present optative views an action as continuing (not completed); the aorist optative, as simply occurring (completed). (The future optative is never used except to represent a future indicative in indirect discourse.) The perfect (rare) denotes completion with resulting state. In
English would is equivocal, being used either in the translation of ἄν with the optative or of ἄν with the past indicative ( cross2302). Thus, cp. εἴ τίς σε ἤρετο . . ., τί ἂν ἀπεκρἰ_νω; if any one had asked you . . ., what would you have replied? with εἰ οὖν τις ἡμᾶς . . . ἔροιτο . . ., τί ἂν αὐτῷ ἀποκρι_ναίμεθα; if then some one should (
followed by would, shall, will, is (
The apodosis has the optative without ἄν in wishes.
εἰ μὲν συμβουλεύοιμι ἃ βέλτιστά μοι δοκεῖ, πολλά μοι καὶ ἀγαθὰ γένοιτο
On the optative with εἰ followed by other forms of the apodosis, see cross2359.2334
Homeric Constructions.—a. In the protasis, εἴ κε (εἰ ἄν) with the optative with the same force as εἰ alone. This use is exclusively Homeric. Thus, οὐ μὲν γάρ τι κακώτερον ἄλλο πάθοιμι, οὐδ' εἴ κεν τοῦ πατρὸς ἀποφθιμένοιο πυθοίμην
b. In the apodosis, a primary tense of the indicative: the present (η 52), the future (I cross388), the future with κέ (μ 345: but this may be the aorist subjunctive).
c. In the apodosis, the hortatory subjunctive (Ψ 893), the subjunctive with ἄν or κέ (Λ 386).
d. In the apodosis, the optative without ἄν not in a wish, but with the same force as the optative with ἄν. See T 321 in a.
e. For κέ with the optative in the apodosis where we should expect, in Homeric and Attic Greek, a past indicative with ἄν (κέ) in an unreal condition, see cross2311 b.
Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].