Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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Present or past temporal clauses take the indicative when the action is marked as a fact and refers to a definite occasion (negative οὐ). The principal clause commonly has the indicative, but may take any form of the simple sentence.

A. Temporal clauses denoting the same time as that of the principal verb ( cross2383 A).

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ὅτε ταῦτα ἦν, σχεδὸν μέσαι ἦσαν νύκτες it was about midnight when this was taking place X. A. 3.1.33, cp. cross1. 1. 1, cited in 2388, ἡνίκα δὲ δείλη ἐγίγνετο, ἐφάνη κονιορτός but when it was getting to be afternoon, a cloud of dust appeared 1. 8. 8, μέχρι ἀπὸ τοῦ ἴσου ἡγοῦντο, προθύ_μως εἱπόμεθα as long as they led on equal terms we followed willingly T. 3.10, ὅσον χρόνον ἐκαθέζετο . . . ἀμφὶ τὴν περὶ τὸ φρούριον οἰκονομία_ν, . . . ἀπῆγον ἵππους as long as he was employed with regulations about the fortress, they kept bringing horses X. C. 5.3.25, ἐν ᾧ ὡπλίζοντο, ἧκον . . . οἱ σκοποί while they were arming, the scouts came X. A. 2.2.15, ἕως ἐστὶ καιρός, ἀντιλάβεσθε τῶν πρα_γμάτωνwhile there is opportunity, take our public policy in handD. 1.20.

N. μέμνημαι, οἶδα, ἀκούω often take ὅτε when instead of ὅτι that. Thus, μέμνημαι ὅτε ἐγὼ πρὸς σὲ ἦλθον I remember when (that) I came to you X. C. 1.6.12. ἡνίκα (and ἦμος in poetry) has a similar use. οἶδα ὅτε, ἀκούω ὅτε are probably due to the analogy of μέμνημαι ὅτε, originally I remember (the moment) when.

B. Temporal clauses denoting time prior to that of the principal verb ( cross2383 B).

ἐπεὶ δ' ἐξῆλθεν, ἐξήγγειλε τοῖς φίλοις τὴν κρίσιν τοῦ Ὀρόντα_ ὡς ἐγένετο but after he came out, he announced to his friends how the trial of Orontas had resulted X. A. 1.6.5 (observe that the aorist, and not the pluperfect, is commonly used to denote time previous to that of the main verb; cp. cross1943), ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἐτελεύτησε Δα_ρεῖος . . ., Τισσαφέρνης διαβάλλει τὸν Κῦρον after Darius died Tissaphernes calumniated Cyrus 1. 1. 3, ὡς τάχιστα ἕως ὑπέφαινεν, ἐθύ_οντο as soon as daylight indistinctly appeared, they sacrificed 4. 3. 9, ἐξ οὗ φίλος εἶναι προσποιεῖται, ἐκ τούτου ὑ_μᾶς ἐξηπάτηκεν ever since Philip pretended to be friendly, from that time on he had deceived you D. 23.193. (On ever since expressed by the dative of the participle, see cross1498.)

C. Temporal clauses denoting time subsequent to that of the principal verb ( cross2383 C).

ἔμειναν ἕως ἀφί_κοντο οἱ στρατηγοί they waited until the generals arrived X. H. 1.1.29, λοιδοροῦσι τὸν Σωτηρίδα_ν ἔστε ἠνάγκασαν . . . πορεύεσθαι they kept reviling Soteridas until they forced him to march on X. A. 3.4.49, καὶ ταῦτα ἐποίουν μέχρι σκότος ἐγένετο and they kept doing this until darkness came on 4. 2. 4, τοὺς Ἕλληνας ἀπελύ_σατο δουλεία_ς ὥστ' ἐλευθέρους εἶναι μέχρι οὗ πάλιν αὐτοὶ αὑτοὺς κατεδουλώσαντο she released the Greeks from slavery so as to be free until they enslaved themselves P. Menex. 245a.


When the principal verb is a past indicative with ἄν and denotes non-fulfilment, a temporal clause has, by assimilation of mood, a past tense of the indicative denoting non-fulfilment.

ὁπηνίκ' ἐφαίνετο ταῦτα πεποιηκὼς . . ., ὡμολογεῖτ' ἂν ἡ κατηγορία_ τοῖς ἔργοις αὐτοῦ if it appeared that he had ever done this, his form of accusation would tally with his acts D. 18.14 (here whenever would make the condition ambiguous), ἐβασάνιζον ἂν μέχρι οὗ αὐτοῖς ἐδόκει they would have kept questioning them under torture as long as they pleased 53. 25, οὐκ ἂν ἐπαυόμην . . . ἕως ἀπεπειρά_θην τῆς σοφία_ς ταυτησί_ I would not cease until I had made trial of this wisdom P. Crat. 396c. See cross2185 b.

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The negative is μή only when the temporal relation is regarded as conditional.

ὁπότε τὸ δίκαιον μὴ οἶδα, ὅ ἐστι, σχολῇ εἴσομαι εἴτε ἀρετή τις οὖσα τυγχάνει εἴτε καὶ οὔ when (if) I do not know what justice is, I am scarcely likely to know whether it is or is not a virtue P. R. 354c.


The future indicative is rarely used in temporal clauses; and when used refers to definite time.

τηνικαῦτα . . . ὅτε οὐδ' ὅ τι χρὴ ποιεῖν ἕξετε at that time, when you will not be able to do even what is necessary D. 19.262.

a. The future is rare because that tense does not usually make clear the difference between action continuing and action simply occurring in the future. ὅτε with the future indicative has thus been almost entirely displaced by ὅταν with the subjunctive.

b. For the future with κέ in θ 318 the subjunctive is probably correct.


Temporal clauses referring indefinitely to the future take either the subjunctive with ἄν or the optative without ἄν.

a. The addition of ἄν produces the forms ὅταν, ὁπόταν; ἐπά_ν, ἐπήν (both rare in Attic), ἐπειδαν. ἕως ἄν, μέχρι ἄν, ἔστ' ἄν mean as long as or until. ὡς when scarcely ever takes ἄν (for ὡς ἄν while ἕως ἄν is read in S. Aj. 1117, Ph. cross1330).

b. The temporal conjunctions have here, in general, the same constructions as conditional ἐά_ν or εἰ. Thus ὁπόταν ἐά_ν ποτε, ὁπότε εἴ ποτε.


The present marks the action as continuing (not completed), the aorist marks the action as simply occurring (completed). The present usually sets forth an action contemporaneous with that of the leading verb; the aorist, an action antecedent to that of the leading verb.

a. The present may denote time antecedent when the verb has no aorist, and in the case of some other verbs: Thus, (ὁ πόλεμος) δς λυ_πήσει ἕκαστον, ἐπειδὰν παρῇ the war which will afflict every one when it comes D. 6.35, ἐπειδὰν ἀκούῃ . . . ἑτέρους κρί_νοντας, τί καὶ ποιήσῃ; when he hears that they are prosecuting other men, what should he then do? 19. 138.

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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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