# Little Greek Cheat Sheet: Conditionals

Jonathan Robie (jwrobie@mindspring.com)
Fri, 25 Oct 1996 08:32:01 -0400

This is my preliminary attempt to make a cheat sheet for conditionals. It
has two parts: the first part attempts to give a heuristic outline for
identifying the meaning of a conditional, the second part describes each of
the conditionals.

I think this cheat sheet needs help in three ways: (1) somebody who is
better at Greek than I am should make sure it is accurate. (2) I would like
to get away from the "first class" naming convention. I think I have pretty
good names for the other classes, but I don't have one for first class yet.
(3) I would like to make the list of "other names" more complete, since I
often find it confusing when people here use different names than the ones I
am used to.

Corrections are welcome -- please send them directly to me via email. I will
post a corrected version here with acknowledgements to those people who helped.

Thanks!

Jonathan

=====================================
The Little Greek Cheat Sheet: Conditionals

"if" clause:
indicative "if" clause:
"then" clause: AN + indicative -> second class (contrary-to-fact)
aorist "if" clause:
"If X had been...then Y would be"
(past condition contrary-to-fact)
imperfect "if" clause":
"If X were...then Y would be"
(present condition contrary-to-fact)
"then" clause not AN + indicative -> first class
"if we can assume X, then Y"
subjunctive "if" clause:
"then" clause present indicative -> fifth class (present general)
"if X, then Y"
"then" clause any tense, any mood (including present indicative!)
aorist "if" clause:
"If X had been...then Y would be"
(past condition contrary-to-fact)
imperfect "if" clause:
"If X were...then Y would be"
(present condition contrary-to-fact)
optative "if" clause:
fourth class (future less vivid, future less probable)
"if X were to occur (which is unlikely), then Y would occur"

===============================

First class conditional
Other terms:
Form:
"if": EI + indicative mood
any tense
negative: OU
"then": any mood, any tense
Meaning:
"if" clause is assumed true for argument's sake
"if we can assume X, then Y"
Note: it does *not* mean since

Second class conditional
Other terms:
condition contrary to fact
past condition contrary to fact
present condition contrary to fact
Form:
"if": EI + indicative mood
tenses:
aorist (past contrary-to-fact)
imperfect (present contrary-to-fact)
negative: MH
"then": AN + indicative
Meaning:
Assumes an untruth for the sake of argument.
Aorist: "If X had been...then Y would be"
(past condition contrary-to-fact)
Imperfect: "If X were...then Y would be"
(present condition contrary-to-fact)

Third class conditional / Fifth class conditional
Other terms:
Third class:
more probable future
future more vivid
Fifth class:
present general condition
Form:
"if": ean + subjunctive mood
any tense
negative: MH
"then":
Third class:
any mood
any tense
Fifth class:
present tense
indicative mood
Meaning:
Third class is a future conditional:
"if X, then Y will occur"
"if X, then Y might occur"
Fifth class requires present indicative in the "else",
implies fulfillment in the present, not the future:
"If X, then Y"
Wallace says that the third class can also use present indicative
in the "else".

Fourth class conditional (rare in GNT)
Other terms:
less probable future
future less vivid
Form:
"if": EI + optative
tense: present or aorist
"then": AN + optative
tense: present or aorist
Meaning:
"if X were to occur (which is unlikely), then Y would occur"