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16.4 Adverbial clauses studied so far


For an introduction to the concept of adverbial clauses, go to 13.3.  You are already familiar with the basic types of adverbial clauses listed in this lesson, because we have  been using some of them from the beginning of the course.  Most are introduced by a subordinating conjunction1  and in some of them  there is an element in the main clause that serves as a marker.  So far we have only found adverbial clauses with the verb in the Indicative mood; that is why we have been able to handle them painlessly.2  


Temporal clauses                                 

Introduced by several conjunctions meaning “when”: ὅτε, ὁπότε,  

“when, after ”ἐπεί,   ἐπειδή,

and by  ἕως  meaning “while.”                                              Negation:  οὐ


            temporal clause                            main clause

1) (ὅτε ταῦτα ἦν,)  [σχεδὸν μέσαι ἦσαν νύκτες]

                         S             V                 adv                S...             V            ...S

When this was //taking place//, it was about midnight. (Xenophon)

                temporal clause                                main clause

2) (ἔως ἐστὶ καιρός,)  [ἀντιλάβεσθε τῶν πραγμάτων.]   (Demosthenes)

                        V             S                               V                                    gen w/V      

While there is opportunity, take in hand public affairs. 


Causal clauses 

Introduced by several conjunctions meaning “because”: ὅτι, διότι

 “since”: ἐπεί, ἐπειδή,

and by ὡς  meaning  “as.”                                                     Negation:  οὐ 


                                                 main clause                                                                                               

[ὁ  Ἰησοῦς περιῆγεν πάσας τὰς πόλεις καὶ τὰς κώμας]

                S                        V                     ..........................      D O   ......................................

                                                                             causal clause

(διότι ἐβούλετο κηρύσσειν τὸ εὐαγγέλιον πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις.)

  conj               V                       compl infin                     D O                        ...............   I O   ................

Jesus went around all the cities and towns because he wanted to proclaim the Gospel to all men.


Comparative clauses 

Introduced by  ὡς or  ὥσπερ                                   Negation:  οὐ          

There may be an adverb meaning "thus" in the main clause, e.g.  οὕτως.



ἔστιν γὰρ οὕτως ὥσπερ οὑ̂τος ἐννέπει

For it is so, just as he says


With the verb in the comparison is omitted, instead of a clause we have a "comparative construction," which I prefer to call simply "comparison."


καὶ γὰρ δὴ πιεζόμενοι οἱ φοίνικες ὑπὸ βάρους ἄνω κυρτου̂νται, ὥσπερ οἱ ὄνοι οἱ κανθήλιοι:

For it is a well known fact that date-palms, when under heavy pressure, bend upward like the backs of pack-asses.


Conditional clauses    

Introduced most often by a conjunction meaning “if”:  εἰ             Negation:  μή        


       main clause ...                 conditional clause                               ...  main clause

 [πᾶς λόγος   (εἰ ἄπεστι τὰ πράγματα,)  μάταιόν τι φαίνεται3 καὶ κενόν.]

   -------  S ------                         V                                       S                          .......   PN  .......             V                 ......    PN

 All speech, if deeds are absent, appears a vain and empty thing.


Concessive clauses:        

Introduced most often by “even if”:  καὶ εἰ,   εἰ  καί                          Negation:  μή


            main clause                 concessive clause         

[γελᾷ ὁ μῶρος] (εἰ καί τι μὴ γελοῖόν ἐστιν.]

            V               S                                    S                  PN                 V       

A fool laughs even if something is not funny. 


Note 1:  Basic meanings are given for the conjunctions listed here.  Some of them, you will notice, may have more than one value, and may therefore introduce more than one type of adverbial clause.

Note 2: Some of these clauses may take another mood (Subjunctive or Optative, sometimes with accompanying  particles), but then  they acquire an additional connotation (e.g. a condition may correspond, rather than to simple "if," to English "if ever").  

Note 3:  "to appear" is a linking verb.