Home >  Constructions > past unreal conditionals

Filter by level:
εἰ γὰρ Ὅμηρος εἰπὼν ὅτι ἦλθεν ὁ Χρύσης τῆς τε θυγατρὸς λύτρα φέρων καὶ ἱκέτης τῶν Ἀχαιῶν, μάλιστα δὲ τῶν βασιλέων, μετὰ τοῦτο μὴ ὡς Χρύσης γενόμενος ἔλεγεν ἀλλ’ ἔτι ὡς Ὅμηρος, οἶσθ’ ὅτι οὐκ ἂν μίμησις ἦν ἀλλὰ ἁπλῆ διήγησις.
"If Homer, once he had told us that Chryses had come with the ransom for his daughter, as a suppliant of the Achaeans and in particular the kings, if after that he had continued to speak not as Chryses but still as Homer, you realise that it would not be imitation but simple narration."
Plato Republic 3 393d (43)
οἱ δ’ εὕδοντ’ ἐν νηῒ θοῇ ἐπὶ πόντον ἄγοντες
κάτθεσαν εἰν Ἰθάκῃ, ἔδοσαν δέ οἱ ἄσπετα δῶρα,
χαλκόν τε χρυσόν τε ἅλις ἐσθῆτά θ’ ὑφαντήν,
πόλλ’, ὅσ’ ἂν οὐδέ ποτε Τροίης ἐξήρατ’ Ὀδυσσεύς,
εἴ περ ἀπήμων ἦλθε, λαχὼν ἀπὸ ληΐδος αἶσαν.
They put him into their swift ships asleep and put him down on Ithaca and gave him wonderful gifts - bronze and gold and lots of woven cloth - lots and lots - more than he would have brought from Troy if he'd taken his share of the lot and come home unharmed.
Homer Odyssey 13.134-38 (94)
καίτοι ποίας τινὸς ἂν ἐκεῖνοι παρ’ ἡμῶν εἰρήνης ἔτυχον, εἰ μίαν μόνον μάχην ἡττήθησαν;
And yet what kind of peace treaty would they have got from us if they had lost but one battle?
Andocides On the Peace 19 (165)
εἴ τινα εἶχε ταύτης μείζω τιμωρίαν ἐπὶ ταῖς γαμεταῖς, ἐποίησεν ἄν.
If he had had any heavier punishment than this for the case of married women, he would have imposed it.
Lysias Speeches 1.33 (336)
εἰ μὲν γὰρ λόγων εἰρημένων ἔργου δὲ μηδενὸς γεγενημένου μετελθεῖν ἐκέλευον ἐκεῖνον, ἠδίκουν ἄν· εἰ δὲ ἤδη πάντων διαπεπραγμένων καὶ πολλάκις εἰσεληλυθότος εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν τὴν ἐμὴν ᾡτινιοῦν τρόπῳ ἐλάμβανον αὐτόν, σωφρονεῖν <ἂν> ἐμαυτὸν ἡγούμην·
For if I had bidden the girl fetch him, when words alone had been spoken and no act had been committed, I should have been in the wrong: but if, when once he had compassed all his ends, and had frequently entered my house, I had then used any possible means to catch him, I should have considered myself quite in order.
Lysias Speeches 1.38 (340)
εἰ ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ νυκτὶ ἐγὼ ἐπεβούλευον Ἐρατοσθένει, πότερον ἦν μοι κρεῖττον αὐτῷ ἑτέρωθι δειπνεῖν ἢ τὸν συνδειπνήσοντά μοι εἰσαγαγεῖν; οὕτω γὰρ ἂν ἧττον ἐτόλμησεν ἐκεῖνος εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν.
if on that night I had designs on Eratosthenes, which was more to my advantage, —to go and take my dinner elsewhere, or to bring in my guest to dinner with me? For in the latter case that man would have been less likely to venture on entering my house.
Lysias Speeches 1.40 (341)
καίτοιγε εἰ προῄδη, οὐκ ἂν δοκῶ ὑμῖν καὶ θεράποντας παρασκευάσασθαι καὶ τοῖς φίλοις παραγγεῖλαι, ἵν’ ὡς ἀσφαλέστατα μὲν αὐτὸς εἰσῄα (τί γὰρ ᾔδη εἴ τι κἀκεῖνος εἶχε σιδήριον;), ὡς μετὰ πλείστων δὲ μαρτύρων τὴν τιμωρίαν ἐποιούμην;
Yet if I had foreknown this, do you not think that I should have called up servants and passed the word to my friends, in order that I might have gone in myself with all possible safety, —for how could I tell whether he too had some weapon? —and so I might have had as many witnesses as possible with me when I took my vengeance?
Lysias Speeches 1.41 (342)
τί ἄν οὖν βουλόμενος ἐγὼ τοιοῦτον κίνδυνον ἐκινδύνευον, εἰ μὴ τὸ μέγιστον τῶν ἀδικημάτων ἦ ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ ἠδικημένος;
For what object, then, should I run so grave a risk, unless I had received from him the greatest of injuries?
Lysias Speeches 1.45 (343)

Download these examples as a pdf

Notes explaining this construction: