Herbert Weir Smyth [n.d.], A Greek Grammar for Colleges; Machine readable text [info] [word count] [Smyth].
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The conjunctions ὅτι or ὡς that introduce dependent statements in the indicative and optative

After verbs of saying, knowing, perceiving, showing, etc.

After verbs of emotion (rejoicing, grieving, wondering), etc.

Or such dependent statements contain an explanation of the main clause or of a word in that clause, no special verb introducing the conjunction.

τοῦτο ἄξιον ἐπαινεῖν τῶν ἀνδρῶν τῶν τότε ναυμαχησάντων, ὅτι τὸν . . . φόβον διέλυ_σαν τῶν Ἑλλήνων it is right to praise this in the men who engaged in the sea-fight of those days, (namely) that they dispelled the fear felt by the Greeks P. Menex. 241b.

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The conjunctions introducing dependent statements are ὅτι (Homeric also ὅττι, ὅ and ὅτε), ὡς, διότι, ὅπως (rarely), οὕνεκα and ὁθούνεκα (both poetic).

a. ὅτι meaning that was originally, like Hom. , perhaps an accusative of the inner object (cognate): ὁρῶ σ νοσεῖς lit. I see what sickness you are sick (= ἣν νόσον νοσεῖς). But by the time of Homer both and ὅτι had become mere formal conjunctions. Hom. ὅτε that seems to be a weakened ὅτε when; but this is disputed.

b. διότι originally = διὰ τοῦτο, ὅτι on account of this, that = because (as T. 1.52); then = ὅτι that in Hdt. and in Attic after Isocrates, who uses διότι for ὅτι to avoid hiatus.

c. ὡς strictly an old ablative of ὅς ( cross2989) meaning how, in what way, as in exclamatory clauses and indirect questions. The meaning how (cp. how that) may be seen in οἶδα γὰρ ὥς μοι ὀδώδυσται κλυτὸς ἐννοσίγαιος for I know how (that) the famed earth-shaker has been wroth against me ε 423, and also in Attic (And. 2.14; I. 2.3, 3. 10, 16. 11, 16. 15; Aes. 2.35; D. 24.139). The development of ὡς how to ὡς that followed from the use of ὡς after verbs signifying to see, perceive, know, and the like. Cp. “he sayed how there was a knight.”

d. ὅπως ( cross2929) that is common in Herodotus (ὅκως), rare in Attic, most used in poetry and Xenophon. From its original use in indirect questions ὅπως how gradually acquired the meaning that. Thus, ἀλλ' ὅπως μὲν . . . ἐγὼ ἄχθομαι ὑ_μᾶς τρέφων, μηδ' ὑπονοεῖτε do not even entertain the thought that I am annoyed at maintaining you X. C. 3.3.20.

e. οὕνεκα = οὖ ἕνεκα, for τούτου ἕνεκα, ὅ, properly causal: on account of (as regards) this, that, and then = that, even in Homer (Odyssey and Λ 21) and later in poetry. Thus, ἐξάγγελλε . . . οὕνεκ' Οἰδίπους τοιαῦτ' ἔνειμε παισὶ τοῖς αὑτοῦ γέρα_ announce that Oedipus has distributed such honours to his sons S. O. C. 1393.

f. ὁθούνεκα = ὅτου ἕνεκα, for τούτου ἕνεκα, ὅτι; and then = that. It is found only in tragedy, as ἄγγελλε . . . ὁθούνεκα τέθνηκ' Ὀρέστης report that Orestes is dead S. El. 47.


Some verbs of saying are followed either by ὅτι or ὡς or by an infinitive ( cross2017). In most cases the choice is optional with the writer. Affirmative clauses usually take the infinitive or ὅτι; but ὡς is apparently preferred to ὅτι when a writer wishes to mark a statement as an opinion, a pretext, as untrue, and so when the main clause is negative, or when the subordinate clause is negative (or both are negative). Thus, νομίζουσιν οἱ ἐκείνῃ ἄνθρωποι . . . ὡς ὁ Ἥφαιστος χαλκεύει the local belief is that Hephaestus is working at his forge T. 3.88, διαβαλὼν αὐτοὺς ὡς οὐδὲν ἀληθὲς ἐν νῷ ἔχουσιν slanderously attacking them on the score that their intentions were not sincere 5. 45, πολλάκις ἐθαύμασα τίσι ποτὲ λόγοις Ἀθηναίους ἔπεισαν οἱ γραψάμενοι Σωκράτην ὡς ἄξιος εἴη θανάτου I have often wondered with what possible arguments the accusers of Socrates succeeded in convincing the Athenians that he deserved death X. M. 1.1.1, οὐ τοῦτο λέγω ὡς οὐ δεῖ ποτε καὶ ἐλά_ττονι ἔτι μορίῳ ἰέναι I do not say (this) that it is not ever necessary to attack the enemy with a still smaller detachment X. C. 5.4.20. ὅτι may be used of an untrue statement designed to create belief (S. El. 43).

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a. Dependent statements in the optative in indirect discourse after verbs of saying are chiefly post-Homeric.


Verbs of thinking almost always take the infinitive ( cross2018) but ὡς occurs; as with νομίζω T. 3.88 ( cross2579), ἐλπίζω 5. 9, οἴομαι X. H. 6.3.12, ὑπολαμβάνω X. C. 8.3.40. ὅτι is very rare (with οἴομαι in P. Ph. 87c). λογίζομαι (ὅτι) is a verb of saying.

a. μαρτυρῶ with ὅτι (ὡς) expresses reality; with the infinitive it denotes uncertainty.


Verbs of intellectual perception usually take ὅτι (ὡς); less often the participle, which is normal after verbs of physical perception. A verb of physical perception, if followed by ὅτι (ὡς), virtually becomes a verb of intellectual perception.


Many verbs take ὅτι (ὡς) or the participle either in indirect discourse or not in indirect discourse ( cross2106- cross2115). Here the construction with the finite verb is less dependent than that with the participle; but the meaning is essentially the same in Attic. Many verbs take ὅτι (ὡς), the infinitive, or the participle, often without great difference in meaning in Attic ( cross2123- cross2145).


ὅτι (ὡς), when separated from its clause by another clause, may be repeated. Thus, ἔλεγεν ὅτι, εἰ μὴ καταβήσονται . . . , ὅτι κατακαύσει . . . τὰ_ς κώμα_ς he said that, if they did not descend, he would burn their villages to the ground X. A. 7.4.5.


The personal δῆλός εἰμι ὅτι, λανθάνω ὅτι, etc. are often used instead of the impersonal δῆλόν ἐστιν ὅτι, λανθάνει ὅτι, etc. Thus, ὅτι πονηρότατοί εἰσιν οὐδὲ σὲ λανθάνουσιν not even you fail to perceive that they are the very worst X. O. 1.19.


δῆλον ὅτι (δηλονότι) evidently, οἶδ' ὅτι (εὖ οἶδ' ὅτι) surely, εὖ ἴσθι ὅτι be assured are so often used parenthetically and elliptically as to become mere formal expressions requiring no verb. ὅτι here loses all conjunctive force. Thus, ἔχει δὴ οὑτωσὶ_ δῆλον ὅτι τούτων πέρι the case then stands clearly thus about these matters P. G. 487d, οὔτ' ἂν ὑ_μεῖς οἶδ' ὅτι ἐπαύσασθε nor assuredly would you have ceased D. 6.29, καὶ πάντων οἶδ' ὅτι φησάντων γ' ἄν (for καὶ οἶδ' ὅτι πάντες φήσαιέν γ' ἄν) and all assuredly would say 9. 1.

a. Plato (Sophistes and Leges) uses δῆλον (ἐστίν) ὡς for δῆλον ὅτι.


ὅτι (and by analogy ὡς) are often attached loosely to the main clause with the meaning as a proof (in support) of the fact that. Thus, ὅτι δ' οὕτω ταῦτ' ἔχει, λέγε μοι τὸ τοῦ Καλλισθένους ψήφισμα as a proof of the fact that this is so, read me the bill of Callisthenes D. 18.37.


Verbs of emotion (to rejoice, grieve, be angry, wonder, etc.) take ὅτι (ὡς) with a finite verb (negative οὐ), but more commonly the participle ( cross2100) when the subject is not changed.

a. Hom. prefers ὅτι, ὡς to the participle or infinitive.

b. The accusative and infinitive with verbs of emotion are rare; as with θαυμάζω E. Alc. 1130. (θαυμάζω may be followed by a dependent question: D. 37.44).

c. On verbs of emotion with εἰ instead of ὅτι, ὡς (negative, generally μή), see cross2247. On the use in dependent exclamations, see cross2687.


μέμνημαι, οἶδα, ἀκούω and like verbs, may take ὅτε instead of ὅτι ( cross2395 A. N.). Cp., in Homer, Φ 396, π 424.

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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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