Certain monosylabic words normally lack their own accent and attach themselves in pronunciation to the following word to form a single word unit. These words are called proclitics because they are considered to “lean forward” on the following word for their accent.
Proclitics are normally written without an accent and do not affect the accentuation of the following word. But a proclitic does receive an acute accent when it is followed by an enclitic (defined on the next screen). Also, the proclitic οὐ receives an acute accent when it occurs idiomatically at the end of a phrase, before punctuation.
In Attic the common proclitics are the negative adverb οὐ, the conjunctions εἰ (“if”) and ὡς (“as”), the prepositions εἰς, ἐν, ἐκ, and the nominative singular and plural masculine and feminine forms of the article (ὁ, ἡ, οἱ, αἱ).
(Proclitics are underlined in the following examples.)
ὁ πατήρ – “the father”
οὐκ ἀκούεις; – “Do you not hear?”
ἐν τῇ σκηνῇ – “in the tent”
εἰ ἀδικοῖεν... – “If they should act unjustly...”
with added acute before enclitic:
εἴ τις ἀδικοίη... – “If anyone should act unjustly...”
negative adverb with added acute before punctuation:
οὗτος μὲν ἐθέλει, ἐκεῖνος δ’ οὔ – “This man is willing, but that one is not.”