Picture of Ross Graves
να 'ξερα
by Ross Graves - Saturday, 3 July 2010, 01:55 PM


Does the expression "να 'ξερα" or "να ήξερα" mean "if I had known", or something similar?

Thank you!


Picture of Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
Re: να 'ξερα
by Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets - Tuesday, 6 July 2010, 06:20 AM
  In short, yes. More exactly, it means something like "if only I knew" or "if only I had known".

To be more precise, it is an abbreviation of a sentence like "μακάρι να ήξερα" meaning "I wish I knew/had known"/"if only I knew/had known". "Μακάρι να" is used to indicate wishes, and is normally followed by a perfective subjunctive, but it can also be followed by an imperfective past tense to indicate past wishes and regrets (AFAIK all expressions of wish and desire can be followed by an imperfective past for this sense).

Hope that helps,
Picture of Ross Graves
Re: να 'ξερα
by Ross Graves - Wednesday, 7 July 2010, 11:53 AM

Thanks, Christophe!

That makes sense to me! Thank you for clarifying, I really appreciate it!