Indefinite Relative Clause

a) Referring to an indefinite/generic (or sometimes an uncertain) ‘person’ or ‘thing’.

b) The clause starts with the relative pronoun o}sti" or o}", followed by the particle a]n (which adds another element of indefiniteness to the clause), followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood.

c) This clause often operates as a substantive within the structure of a sentence.

d) It is the person that is ‘uncertain’, not the verbal element. (Thus the verb - in the subjunctive mood - is often translated as indicative, since the potential element belongs to the subject of the clause rather than to the verb.)

e) For example:

    i) Matthew 20:27
    "And whoever wants to be first among you will be your slave."
    "kai; o}" a]n qevlh/ ejn uJmi'n ei\nai prw'to" e[stai uJmw'n dou'lo":"
    ii) John 4:14
    "Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never (emphatic negation) thirst again."
    "o}" d` a]n pivh/ ejk tou' u{dato" ou| ejgw; dwvsw aujtw'/, ouj mh; diyhvsei eij" to;n aijw'na,"
    iii) Romans 9:15
    "For he said to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
    "tw'/ Mwu>sei' ga;r levgei,  jElehvsw o}n a]n ejlew', kai; oijktirhvsw o}n a]n oijktivrw."

 Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.

Created by Corey Keating at: