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.

  1. “If the attempt succeeds,” [the understood but unexpressed apodosis (part) being], “it will be well.”

    — (Thucydides 3.3.)

Other Examples of Anapodoton

  1. “If you think I'm going to sit here and take your insults...”

    (implied: “then you are mistaken”)

  2. “If you think you have succeeded in stopping me …”

    (Here we see a dependent clause which grammatically does not work, but still makes sense)

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.

  • Share

Trending Collections

Recommended Books to Flex Your Knowledge