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An overview of Greek Subjunctive, s'il vous plait

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An overview of Greek Subjunctive, s'il vous plait

Postby GlottalGreekGeek » Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:36 am

I have studied a lot of French, so I have a general idea of what the subjunctive is. However, as 70% of the time the subjunctive is inflected indistinguishably from the indicative in French, it is not the ideal language to master this mood. Also, I understand that some of the functions assigned to the French subjunctive are assigned to the Greek optative.

I know these sentences use the subjunctive in English :

I insist that you be ready tomarrow.
Let the word be pearl.
The court rules that the prisnor be released.
Should Mary drop in at noon, I can prepare lunch for three.
May all go well.
Were I mayor, I would improve public transportation.

And a sentence which would use the subjunctive in French but not English :

I can't stand him, although he is cute.

From the vague defintions of the Optative mood which I've seen, I guess these sentences would use the Optative in Greek (they also use the English subjunctive) :

I wish she were smarter.
I wish the bus were here now.

I also want to know if there are any counter-intuitive idioms concerning the Greek subjunctive, or at least any which would bother a beginner. I know in French the verb esperer (to hope) takes the indicative, even though logically it should use the subjunctive. [/i]
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Postby Paul » Fri Dec 17, 2004 2:07 am


It might be more than you want right now, but http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-foru ... php?t=2235 may be helpful.


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Postby yadfothgildloc » Sun Dec 19, 2004 6:23 pm

[quote=paul]The use of the Greek future indicative to say "I will go to Troy." means that my going is a certainty; not unlike "the sun will rise tomorrow".

In "Let us go to Troy", the Greek subjunctive expresses not only futurity and my interest (will) in such a trip, but also possible conditions on which the trip depends, namely that there are others involved who may not want to go to Troy. The literature would call this 'less immediate'.

In "May we go to Troy", the Greek optative expresses not only futurity and my interest (wish) in such a trip, but also the sense that there is a greater likelihood that we may not get to Troy - that some condition stands in the way. This is 'least immediate' or 'remote futurity'. [/quote]

Also, learn the different "schticks" of each mood - in Attic (I'm unfamiliar with Epic) there are only three uses of the optative and they're pretty easy to learn (Wish, Potential, and becuase a Subjuctive or Indicative in 2ndary sequence fell into it). Subjuctives have more variation, but aren't too hard.

Make sure you master the formulas for conditions, also. THat'll make life much easier.
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