A School Grammar of Attic Greek

Thomas Dwight Goodell


566. The Infinitive with ὡς or ὥστε is used

a. With adjectives in the comparative, or implying comparison:

Ὀλίγοι ὡς ἐγκρατεῖς εἶναι
too few to have power
Xen. Cyropaedia 4.5.15


βραχύτερα ἢ ὡς ἐξικνεῖσθαι
too short to reach
Xen. Anabasis 3.3.7


ἐλάττω ἔχοντα δύναμιν ἢ ὥστε τοὺς φίλους ὠφελεῖν
having too little force to aid his friends (less than as for aiding)
Xen. Hellenica 4.8.23


γέρων ἐκεῖνος ὥστε σʼ ὠφελεῖν.
He is old for aiding you.
Eur. Andromache 80


b. To denote result, especially an intended result; ὥστε is the usual word in prose, often preceded by a demonstrative; the idea of intention gradually fades out:

Eἶχον τὰ δρέπανα εἰς γῆν βλέποντα ὡς διακόπτειν.
They had the scythes extending toward the ground (as) for cutting in two (whomever they came on).
Xen. Anabasis 1.8.10


πελάσᾱς ὡς συναντήσαι
riding up so as to meet him.
Xen. Anabasis 1.8.15


νυκτὸς ἰέναι, ὡς μὴ ὁρᾶσθαι
to go by night so as not to be seen
Xen. Anabasis 4.6.13


χρόνῳ ποτʼ ἐξέπρᾱξαν ὡς δοῦναι δίκην.
At length they have wrought it out so as to pay the penalty.
Soph. Antigone 303


Μηχαναὶ πολλαί εἰσιν ὥστε διαφεύγειν θάνατον.
Many devices there are for escaping death.
Plato Apology 39a


πάντας οὕτω διατιθεὶς ὥστε αὐτῷ φίλους εἴναι
so disposing all (putting all into such disposition) as to be friendly to him
Xen. Anabasis 1.1.5


ἔχω τριήρεις ὥστε ἑλεῖν τὸ ἐκείνων πλοῖον.
I have triremes so as to catch their boat.
Xen. Anabasis 1.4.8


δείνʼ ἐπηπείλει, ὥστʼ οὔτε νυκτὸς ὕπνον οὔτʼ ἐξ ἡμέρᾱς ἐμὲ στεγάζειν.
He made dreadful threats, so that neither by night nor day did sleep cover me.
Soph. Electra 779-781


The last example comes very close to the use of ὥστε with an indicative, denoting an actual result (639 a).


c. Sometimes ὥστε with the infinitive states a condition or proviso (cp. 567):

Tῶν λοιπῶν ἄρχειν Ἑλλήνων, ὥστε αὐτοὺς ὑπακούειν βασιλεῖ
to rule the rest of the Greeks, provided they would (so as to) themselves obey the king
Demosthenes 6.11


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