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]