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23.164 Uses of the Subjunctive

Read Croy section 164 and make sure you understand all the examples. In all of these examples of the subjunctive, you will see how the Greek subjunctive is often a way to talk about the future - future possibilities, future probabilities, desires for the future, etc.

Hortatory Subjunctive. The hortatory subjunctive means the use of the first person plural subjunctive in order to "exhort" a group of people to do something. The action is not taking place in present time and the speaker hopes that the action will take place in the future. The standard way to translate this into English is with the word "let's..."

Deliberative Subjunctive. The subjunctive can be used in a question to "deliberate" about the future. There are many English expressions that can be used to express the deliberative subjunctive: shall, might, should, etc.

Emphatic Negation. The words οὐ and μή can be combined to create an emphatically negative statement about the future, The subjunctive is used to express the total absence of the possibility that an action might take place in the future.

Purpose. When you see the words ἵνα or ὅπως in Greek, you can expect to find a subjunctive verb expressing some kind of purpose for the future. The easiest way to translate this into English is with the phrase "so that..."

Conditions. Conditions are made up of two statements: the "if" statement (called the "protasis" in Greek) and the "then" statement (called the "apodosis" in Greek). You have already learned that the word εἰ, meaning "if," can be used with indicative verbs to talk about real possibilities. The word ἐὰν - which also means "if" - is used with subjunctive verbs to talk about more remote possibilities. (You don't need to worry about some of the other rules and terms that Croy discusses in this section.)

Biblical Greek Online. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. Page last updated: April 9, 2005 8:06 PM

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