An Introduction to Anapodoton
Anapodoton is a figure of speechOpens in new window for which its expression stops half way as a result of a break in the syntactic units; or when in its sentence, there is an absence of clause or a correlative pair either in the beginning, middle or at the end; but nonetheless, the omitted part is implied and understood.
Anapodoton is a term derived from Greek, literally “without the apodosis” or “wanting the apodosis,” i.e., the main clause in a conditional sentence.
In a typical anapodoton construction, the main clause Opens in new window is suggested by the introduction of a subordinate clause, but the main clause is not included in the sentence Opens in new window, as shown in the example below.
- “If the attempt succeeds,” [the understood but unexpressed apodosis (part) being], “it will be well.”(Thucydides 3.3.)
—qtd. in Gregory T. Howard, Dictionary of Rhetorical Terms)
Another variation or a subset of anapodoton sometimes occur, in which case, the subordinate clause is left incomplete, while this rarely occurs, when it does, it is known as anantapodoton.