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οἷος or ὅσος with the infinitive: result clause


ὁ θεὸς οὐ τοιοῦτος οἷος δεῖσθαι φίλου.

‘God is not of such a nature as to need a friend.’ (Aristot. Eud. Eth. 1245b.15)

The infinitive, preceded by οἷος or ὅσος, signals a result as a satellite. This also applies to οἷός τε.

Translation tips

Note the difference in meaning:

  • οἷος + infinitief: ‘of such a kind that..., like...’ (‘natural aptitude’);
  • οἷος τε + infinitief: ‘suitable to..., capable of...’ (‘capacity, ability’).


The pronouns οἷος and ὅσος are correlatives. Consequently, they are usually anticipated in the main clause by their demonstrative equivalent: τοιοῦτος… οἷος ‘such a… that’; τοσοῦτος... ὅσος ‘such a great… that’; τοσοῦτοι... ὅσοι ‘so much… that’. The expression εἰς τοσοῦτον (often + genitief)... ὅσος ‘to such an extent… that’ also occurs. If the main clause does not contain a cataphoric τοιοῦτος or τοσοῦτος, it is usually necessary to translate οἷος as ‘inclined to...’


The interpretation of the semantic role as 'result' originates from the grammar of Schwyzer and is usually adhered to. Redondo, however, correctly notes that this construction is, in essence, a comparative construction, a fact which is apparent from, among other things, the use of correlatives.

Example Sentences: 

οὐ γὰρ ἦν ὥρᾱ οἵᾱ τὸ πεδίον ἄρδειν

For it was not the season to irrigate the plain. [provisional translation]

ἀλλὰ μὴν ὧν γε νυν διεληλύθαμεν τῶν ὀνομάτων ἡ ὀρθότης τοιαύτη τις ἐβούλετο εἶναι, οἵα δηλοῦν οἷον ἕκαστόν ἐστι τῶν ὄντων

Well now, the correctness of the names which we have just discussed was intended to be such that they made clear what the nature of each of the beings was.

τοῦτον καὶ παρακόψαντα ἀναλαβὼν οἴκοι ἐς τοσοῦτον ἐθεράπευσεν, ἐς ὅσον ἀποκαταστῆσαι

And when the man [ the surveyor Hipponicus] began to lose his mind, [Arcesileus] took him home and took care of him until he was restored. ֍