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Old & New Testament Greek

Entry for Strong's #302 - ἄν

Word Origin:
a primary particle
Parts of Speech:
Word Definition  [ Thayer's | Strong's ]
Thayer's Definition
  1. has no exact English equivalent, see definitions under the translated words.
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions

ἄν (A), [],

, Lyr., Ion., Arc., Att.; also κεν) , Aeol., Thess., κᾱ Dor., Boeot., El.; the two combined in (infr. D. 11.2) and Arc., εἰκ ἄν IG 5(2).6.2, 15 (iv B. C.): modal Particle used with Verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. In Hom. κε is four times as common as ἄν, in Lyr. about equally common. No clear distinction can be traced, but κε as an enclitic is somewhat less emphatic; ἄν is preferred by Hom. in negative clauses, κε (ν) with the relative. In Simple Sentences, and in the Apodosis of Compound Sentences; here ἄν belongs to the Verb, and denotes that the assertion made by the Verb is dependent on a condition, expressed or implied: thus ἦλθεν he came, ἦλθεν ἄν he would have come (under conditions, which may or may not be defined), and so he might have come; ἔλθοι may he come, ἔλθοι ἄν he would come (under certain conditions), and so he might come.


1 with historical tenses, generally impf. and aor., less freq. plpf., never pf., v. infr., most freq. in apodosis of conditional sentences, with protasis implying nonfulfilment of a past or present condition, and apod. expressing what would be or would have been the case if the condition were or had been fulfilled. The impf. with ἄν refers to continued action, in Hom. always in past time, exc. perh. καί κε θάμ' ἐνθάδ' ἐόντες ἐμισγόμεθ' Od. 4. 178; later also in pres. time, first in Thgn. 905; πολὺ ἂν θαυμαστότερον ἦν, εἰ ἐτιμῶντο it would be far more strange if they were honoured, Pl. R. 489a; οὐκ ἂν νήσων ἐκράτει, εἰ μή τι καὶ ναυτικὸν εἶχεν he would not have been master of islands if he had not had also some naval power, Th. 1.9. The aor. strictly refers only to past time, Pi. N. 11.24, etc.; εἰ τότε ταύτην ἔσχε τὴν γνώμην, οὐδὲν ἂν ὧν νυνὶ πεποίηκεν ἔπραξεν if he had then come to this opinion, he would have accomplished nothing of what he has now done, D. 4.5, al., but is used idiomatically with Verbs of saying, answering, etc., as we say I should have said, εἰ μὴ πατὴρ ἦσθ', εἶπον ἄν σ' οὐκ εὖ φρονεῖν S. Ant. 755, cf. Pl. Smp. 199d, Euthphr. 12d, etc.: the plpf. refers to completed actions, as ὃ εἰ ἀπεκρίνω, ἱκανῶς ἂν ἤδη παρὰ σοῦ τὴν ὁσιότητα ἐμεμαθήκη I should have already learnt.., ib. 14c; εἰ ὁ ἀνὴρ ἀπέθανεν, δικαίως ἂν ἐτεθνήκει Antipho 4.2.3. the protasis is freq. understood: ὑπό κεν ταλασίφρονά περ δέος εἷλεν fear would have seized even the stout-hearted (had he heard the sound), Il. 4.421; τὸ γὰρ ἔρυμα τῷ στρατοπέδῳ οὐκ ἂν ἐτειχίσαντο they would not have built the wall (if they had not won a battle), Th. 1.11; πολλοῦ γὰρ ἂν ἦν ἄξια for (if that were so) they would be worth much, Pl. R. 374d; οὐ γὰρ ἦν ὅ τι ἂν ἐποιεῖτε for there was nothing which you could have done, i. e. would have done (if you had tried), D. 18.43. with no definite protasis understood, to express what would have been likely to happen, or might have happened in past time: ἢ γάρ μιν ζωόν γε κιχήσεαι, ἤ κεν Ὀρέστης κτεῖνεν ὑποφθάμενος for either you will find him alive, or else Orestes may already have killed him before you, Od. 4.546; ὃ θεασάμενος πᾶς ἄν τις ἀνὴρ ἠράσθη δάϊος εἶναι every man who saw this (the 'Seven against Thebes') would have longed to be a warrior, Ar. Ra. 1022; esp. with τάχα, q. v., ἀλλ' ἦλθε μὲν δὴ τοῦτο τοὔνειδος τάχ' ἂν ὀργῇ βιασθὲν μᾶλλον ἢ γνώμῃ φρενῶν, i. e. it might perhaps have come, S. OT 523; τάχα ἂν δὲ καὶ ἄλλως πως ἐσπλεύσαντες (sc. διέβησαν) and they might also perhaps have crossed by sea (to Sicily) in some other way, Th. 6.2, cf. Pl. Phdr. 265b. ἄν is freq. omitted in apodosi with Verbs expressing obligation, propriety, or possibility, as ἔδει, ἐχρῆν, εἰκὸς ἦν, etc., and sts. for rhetorical effect, εἰ μὴ.. ᾖσμεν, φόβον παρέσχεν it had caused (for it would have caused) fear, E. Hec. 1113. This use becomes more common in later Gk.

2. with fut. ind.: frequently in , usu. with κεν, rarely ἄν, Il. 9.167, 22.66, indicating a limitation or condition, ὁ δέ κεν κεχολώσεται ὅν κεν ἵκωμαι and he will likely be angry to whom- soever I shall come, ib. 1.139; καί κέ τις ὧδ' ἐρέει and in that case men will say, 4.176; ἐγὼ δέ κέ τοι καταλέξω Od. 3.80; so in Lyr., μαθὼν δέ τις ἂν ἐρεῖ Pi. N. 7.68, cf. I. 6(5).59. rarely in codd. of Att. Prose writers, σαφὲς ἂν καταστήσετε Th. 1.140; οὐχ ἥκει, οὐδ' ἂν ἥξει δεῦρο Pl. R. 615d, cf. Ap. 29c, X. An. 2.5.13; dub. in Hp. Mul. 2.174: in later Prose, Philostr. V A 2.21, S E. M. 9.225: also in Poetry, E. El. 484, Ar. Av. 1313; οὐκ ἂν προδώσω Herod. 6.36 (corr. -δοίην): for ἄν with fut. inf. and part. v. infr.

II WITH SUBJUNCTIVE, only in , the meaning being the same as with the fut. ind. (1.2a), freq. with 1st pers., as εἰ δέ κε μὴ δώῃσιν, ἐγὼ δέ κεν αὐτὸς ἕλωμαι in that case I will take her myself, Il. 1.324; πείθευ, ἐγὼ δέ κέ τοι εἰδέω χάριν obey and if so I will be grateful, 14.235 (the subj. is always introduced by δέ in this usage); also with other persons, giving emphasis to the future, οὐκ ἄν τοι χραίσμῃ κίθαρις 3.54, al.

III WITH OPTATIVE (never fut., rarely pf. πῶς ἂν λελήθοι [με ]; X. Smp. 3.6): in apodosis of conditional sentences, after protasis in opt. with εἰ or some other conditional or relative word, expressing a fut. condition: ἀλλ' εἴ μοί τι πίθοιο, τό κεν πολὺ κέρδιον εἴη Il. 7.28; οὐ πολλὴ ἂν ἀλογία εἴη, εἰ φοβοῖτο τὸν θάνατον; Pl. Phd. 68b: in Hom. pres. and aor. opt. with κε or ἄν are sts. used like impf. and aor. ind. with ἄν in Attic, with either regular ind. or another opt. in the protasis: καί νύ κεν ἔνθ' ἀπόλοιτο.. εἰ μὴ.. νόησε κτλ., i. e. he would have perished, had she not perceived, etc., Il. 5.311, cf. 5.388, 17.70; εἰ νῦν ἐπὶ ἄλλῳ ἀεθλεύοιμεν, ἦ τ' ἂν ἐγὼ.. κλισίηνδε φεροίμην if we were now contending in another's honour, I should now carry.., ib. 23.274: so rarely in Trag., οὐδ' ἂν σὺ φαίης, εἴ σε μὴ κνίζοι λέχος (for εἰ μὴ ἔκνιζε) E. Med. 568. with protasis in pres. or fut., the opt. with ἄν in apodosi takes a simply future sense: φρούριον δ' εἰ ποιήσονται, τῆς μὲν γῆς βλάπτοιεν ἄν τι μέρος they might perhaps damage, Th. 1.142, cf. 2.60, Pl. Ap. 25b, R. 333e; ἢν οὖν μάθῃς.. οὐκ ἂν ἀποδοίην Ar. Nu. 116, cf. D. 1.26, al. with protasis understood: φεύγωμεν· ἔτι γάρ κεν ἀλύξαιμεν κακὸν ἦμαρ Od. 10.269; οὔτε ἐσθίουσι πλείω ἢ δύνανται φέρειν· διαρραγεῖεν γὰρ ἄν for (if they should do so) they would burst, X. Cyr. 8.2.21; τὸν δ' οὔ κε δύ' ἀνέρε.. ἀπ' οὔδεος ὀχλίσσειαν two men could not heave the stone from the ground, i. e. would not, if they should try, Il. 12.447; οὐδ' ἂν δικαίως ἐς κακὸν πέσοιμί τι S. Ant. 240, cf. D. 2.8: in Hom. sts. with ref. to past time, Τυδεΐδην οὐκ ἂν γνοίης ποτέροισι μετείη Il. 5.85. with no definite protasis implied, in potential sense: ἡδέως δ' ἂν ἐροίμην Λεπτίνην but I would gladly ask Leptines, D. 20.129; βουλοίμην ἄν I should like, Lat. velim (but ἐβουλόμην ἄν I should wish, if it were of any avail, vellem); ποῖ οὖν τραποίμεθ' ἄν; which way then can we turn? Pl. Euthd. 290a; οὐκ ἂν μεθείμην τοῦ θρόνου I will not give up the throne, Ar. Ra. 830; idiomatically, referring to the past, αὗται δὲ οὐκ ἂν πολλαὶ εἶεν but these would not (on investigation) prove to be many, Th. 1.9; εἴησαν δ' ἂν οὗτοι Κρῆτες these would be (i. e. would have been) Cretans, Hdt. 1.2: used in order to soften assertions by giving them a less positive form, as οὐκ ἂν οὖν πάνυ γέ τι σπουδαῖον εἴη ἡ δικαιοσύνη, i.e. it would not prove to be, etc. (for, it is not, etc.), Pl. R. 333e. in questions, expressing a wish: τίς ἂν θεῶν.. δοίη; S. OC 1100, cf. A. Ag. 1448; πῶς ἂν θάνοιμι; S. Aj. 389: hence (with no question) as a mild command, exhortation, or entreaty, τλαίης κεν Μενελάῳ ἐπιπροέμεν ταχὺν ἰόν Il. 4.94; σὺ μὲν κομίζοις ἂν σεαυτὸν ᾗ θέλεις you may take yourself off (milder than κόμιζε σεαυτόν), S. Ant. 444; χωροῖς ἂν εἴσω you may go in, El. 1491; κλύοις ἂν ἤδη, Φοῖβε hear me now, Phoebus, ib. 637; φράζοις ἄν, λέγοις ἄν, Pl. Phlb. 23c, 48b. in a protasis which is also an apodosis: εἴπερ ἄλλῳ τῳ ἀνθρώπων πειθοίμην ἄν, καὶ σοὶ πείθομαι if I would trust any (other) man (if he gave me his word), I trust you, Id. Prt. 329b; εἰ μὴ ποιήσαιτ' ἂν τοῦτο if you would not do this (if you could), D. 4.18, cf. X. Mem. 1.5.3, Plot. 6.4.16. rarely omitted with opt. in apodosis: ῥεῖα θεός γ' ἐθέλων καὶ τηλόθεν ἄνδρα σαώσαι Od. 3.231, cf. 14.123, Il. 5.303; also in Trag., θᾶσσον ἢ λέγοι τις E. Hipp. 1186; τεὰν δύνασιν τίς.. κατάσχοι; S. Ant. 605. ἄν c. fut. opt. is prob. always corrupt (cf. 1.2b), as τὸν αὐτὸν ἂν ἐπαινέσοι (ἐπαινέσαι Bekk.) Pl. Lg. 719e; εἰδὼς ὅτι οὐδέν' ἂν καταλήψοιτο (οὐδένα Bekk.) Lys. 1.22.

WITH INF. and PART. (sts. AD J. equivalent to part., τῶν δυνατῶν ἂν κρῖναι Pl. R. 577b) representing ind. or opt.:

1 pres. inf. or part.: representing impf. ind., οἴεσθε τὸν πατέρα.. οὐκ ἂν φυλάττειν; do you think he would not have kept them safe? (οὐκ ἂν ἐφύλαττεν), D. 49.35; ἀδυνάτων ἂν ὄντων [ὑμῶν] ἐπιβοηθεῖν when you would have been unable, Th. 1.73, cf. 4.40. representing pres. opt., πόλλ' ἂν ἔχων (representing ἔχοιμ' ἄν) ἕτερ' εἰπεῖν παραλείπω D. 18.258, cf. X. An. 2.3.18: with Art., τὸ ἐθέλειν ἂν ἰέναι ἄκλητος ἐπὶ δεῖπνον Pl. Smp. 174b.

2. aor. inf. or part.: representing aor. ind., οὐκ ἂν ἡγεῖσθ' αὐτὸν κἂν ἐπιδραμεῖν; do you not think he would even have run thither? (καὶ ἐπέδραμεν ἄν), D. 27.56; ἴσμεν ὑμᾶς ἀναγκασθέντας ἄν we know you would have been compelled, Th. 1.76, cf. 3.89; ῥᾳδίως ἂν ἀφεθείς when he might easily have been acquitted, X. Mem. 4.4.4. representing aor. opt., οὐδ' ἂν κρατῆσαι αὐτοὺς τῆς γῆς ἡγοῦμαι I think they would not even be masters of the land (οὐδ' ἂν κρατήσειαν), Th. 6.37, cf. 2.20; ὁρῶν ῥᾳδίως ἂν αὐτὸ ληφθέν (ληφθείη ἄν) Id. 7.42; οὔτε ὄντα οὔτε ἂν γενόμενα, i.e. things which are not and never could happen (ἃ οὔτε ἂν γένοιτο), Id. 6.38.

3. pf. inf. or part. representing: plpf. ind., πάντα ταῦθ' ὑπὸ τῶν βαρβάρων ἂν ἑαλωκέναι (φήσειεν ἄν) he would say that all these would have been destroyed by the barbarians (ἑαλώκη ἄν), D. 19.312. pf. opt., οὐκ ἂν ἡγοῦμαι αὐτοὺς δίκην ἀξίαν δεδωκέναι, εἰ.. καταψηφίσαισθε I do not believe they would (then) have suffered (δεδωκότες ἂν εἶεν) punishment enough, etc., Lys. 27.9.

4. fut. inf. or part., never in , and prob. always corrupt in Att., νομίζων μέγιστον ἂν σφᾶς ὠφελήσειν (leg. -ῆσαι) Th. 5.82, cf. 6.66, 8.25, 71; part. is still more exceptional, ὡς ἐμοῦ οὐκ ἂν ποιήσοντος ἄλλα Pl. Ap. 30c (codd.), cf. D. 19.342 (v. l.); both are found in later Gk., νομίσαντες ἂν οἰκήσειν οὕτως ἄριστα Plb. 8.30.8, cf. Plu. Mark 15:1-47, Arr. An. 2.2.3; with part., Epicur. Nat. 14.1, Luc. Asin. 26, Lib. Or. 62.21, dub. l. in Arr. An. 6.6.5.



1. In the protasis of conditional sentences with εἰ, regularly with the subjunctive. In Attic εἰ ἄν is contracted into ἐάν, ἤν, or ἄν () (q. v.): Hom. has generally εἴ κε (or αἴ κε), sts. ἤν, once εἰ δ' ἄν Il. 3.288, twice εἴπερ ἄν 5.224, 232. The protasis expresses either future condition (with apod. of fut. time) or general condition (with apod. of repeated action): εἰ δέ κεν ὣς ἔρξῃς καί τοι πείθωνται Ἀχαιοί, γνώσῃ ἔπειθ' ὅς.. if thus thou shalt do.., ib. 2.364; ἢν ἐγγὺς ἔλθῃ θάνατος, οὐδεὶς βούλεται θνῄσκειν if death (ever) come near.., E. Alc. 671.

2. in relative or temporal clauses with a conditional force; here ἄν coalesces with ὅτε, ὁπότε, ἐπεί, ἐπειδή, cf. ὅταν, ὁπόταν, ἐπήν or ἐπάν (Ion. ἐπεάν), ἐπειδάν: Hom. has ὅτε κε (sts. ὅτ' ἄν), ὁππότε κε (sts. ὁπότ' ἄν or ὁππότ' ἄν), ἐπεί κε (ἐπεὶ ἄν Il. 6.412), ἐπήν, εὖτ' ἄν; v. also εἰσόκε (εἰς ὅ κε): — τάων ἥν κ' ἐθέλωμι φίλην ποιήσομ' ἄκοιτιν whomsoever of these I may wish.., Il. 9.397; ὅταν δὴ μὴ σθένω, πεπαύσομαι when I shall have no strength.., S. Ant. 91; ἐχθρὸς γάρ μοι κεῖνος.. ὅς χ' ἕτερον μὲν κεύθῃ ἐνὶ φρεσίν, ἄλλο δὲ εἴπῃ who ever conceals one thing in his mind and speaks another, Il. 9.312, cf. D. 4.6, Th. 1.21. Hom. uses subj. in both the above constructions (1 and 2) without ἄν; also Trag. and Com., S. Aj. 496, Ar. Eq. 805; μέχρι and πρίν occasionally take subj. without ἄν in prose, e.g. Th. 1.137, 4.16 (μέχρι οὗ), Pl. Phd. 62c, Aeschin. 3.60.

3. in final clauses introduced by relative Advbs., as ὡς, ὅπως (of Manner), ἵνα (of Place), ὄφρα, ἕως, etc. (of Time), freq. in , σαώτερος ὥς κε νέηαι Il. 1.32; ὄφρα κεν εὕδῃ Od. 3.359; ὅπως ἂν εἰδῇ.. φράσω A. Pr. 824; ὅπως ἂν φαίνηται κάλλιστος Pl. Smp. 198e; μηχανητέον ὅπως ἂν διαφύγῃ Grg. 481a (where ὅπως with fut. ind. is the regular constr.); also after ὡς in Hdt., Trag., X. An. 2.5.16, al., once in Th. 6.91 (but fut. ind. is regular in Att.); ἵνα final does not take ἄν or κε exc. ἵνα εἰδότες ἤ κε θάνωμεν ἤ κεν.. φύγοιμεν Od. 12.156 (ἵνα = where in S. OC 405). μή, = lest, takes ἄν only with opt. in apodosis, as S. Tr. 631, Th. 2.93.


1. in sts. with OPTATIVE as with subj. (always κε (ν), exc. εἴ περ ἂν αὐταὶ Μοῦσαι ἀείδοιεν Il. 2.597), εἴ κεν Ἄρης οἴχοιτο Od. 8.353; ὥς κε.. δοίη ᾧ κ' ἐθέλοι that he might give her to whomsoever he might please, ib. 2.54: so in Hdt. in final clauses, 1.75, 99: in Od. 23.135 ὥς κέν τις φαίη, κέν belongs to Verb in apod., as in ὡς δ' ἂν ἥδιστα ταῦτα φαίνοιτο X. Cyr. 7.5.81.

2. rarely in oratio obliqua, where a relat. or temp. word retains an ἄν which it would have with subj. in direct form, S. Tr. 687, X. Mem. 1.2.6, Isoc. 17.15; ἐπειδὰν δοκιμασθείην D. 30.6: similarly after a preceding opt., οὐκ ἀποκρίναιο ἕως ἂν.. σκέψαιο Pl. Phd. 101d.

III rarely with εἰ and INDICATIVE in protasis, only in :

1 with fut. ind. as with subj.: αἴ κεν Ἰλίου πεφιδήσεται Il. 15.213: so with relat., οἵ κέ με τιμήσουσι 1.175.

2. with εἰ and a past tense of ind., once in Hom., εἰ δέ κ' ἔτι προτέρω γένετο δρόμος Il. 23.526; so Ζεὺς γάρ κ' ἔθηκε νῆσον εἴ κ' ἐβούλετο Orac. ap. Hdt. 1.174, cf. Ar. Lys. 1099 (cod. R), A.R.

ἄν (B), [], Att., = ἐάν, ἤν, Th. 4.46 codd., al.; freq. in Pl., ἂν σωφρονῇ Phd. 61b; ἂν θεὸς θέλῃ ib. 80d, cf. D. 4.50; ἄν τ'.. ἄν τε Arist. Ath. 48.4: not common in earlier Att. Inscrr., IG 1.2a5, 2.179b49, al.: but freq. later, SIG 1044.27 (iv/iii B. C.), PPetr. 2p.47 (iii B. C.), PPar. 32.19 (ii B. C.), PTeb. 110.8 (i B. C.), John 20:23, etc.

ἄν (C) or ἀν, Epic form of ἀνά, q. v.

ἄν (D), shortened from ἄνα, v. sub ἀνά G.

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