méti: can this be? (interrog. particle expecting a neg. answer)Original Word: μήτιPart of Speech:
if not, unlessDefinition:
if not, unless, whether at all.
3385 mḗti (from 3361 /mḗ, "not" and 5101 /tís, "anything") – properly, not perhaps, "no on first blush (reaction)" – while still keeping "the possibility open" to elicit the desired reaction from the listener (reader). 3385 (mḗti) then draws out an immediate "no," while still conjuring the idea, "unless . . . ".
Example: Jn 4:29: "Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not (3385 /mḗti) the Christ, is it?" (NASU).
A. T. Robertson, "Is not this the Christ (3385 /mḗti) . . . " elicits "the negative answer ('this cannot be') . . . 'unless He really is the Christ!' (holding out the 'diplomatic possibility') and thus heightening their interest" (WS, 429,30).
NAS Exhaustive ConcordanceWord Origin
and the neut. of tisDefinition
can this be? (interrog. particle expecting a neg. answer)NASB Translation
cannot (1), cannot* (1), perhaps (1), surely (4), surely no (1), unless* (2).