Biblical Greek Optative Mood2018-11-09T13:38:15+00:00

The Optative Mood

The mood of strong contingency or possibility. It expresses no definite anticipation of realization, rather, it only presents the action as conceivable.

The Volitive Optative (Wishes)

This use denotes a wish. It is the ordinary verbal form for expressing wishes and is the most common use of the optative.

The Potential Optative (Futuristic)

This use signifies what would happen on the fulfillment of some supposed condition. It is used in a clause which implies condition. The particle ἄν usually occurs with this use. It simply states that a thing could, or might be possible.

The Deliberative Optative

The Optative is used a few times in the New Testament to express indirect questions. This use involves ἔιν (third person singular of the Present of εἰμίv). Normally an indirect question is expressed by the Indicative; however, the Optative gives the question a more tentative and cautious tone.

The Conditional Optative

This use, using ἄν or εί, is related to the potential Optative. The condition of the Optative is part of the fourth-class conditional sentence. Either the είv in the protasis with the Optative or the ἄν in the apodosis with the Optative will be found, but not both at the same time.

The Optative in Subordinate Clauses in Indirect Speech

 

The Optative is used in clauses introduced by πρίν ἥ.

Optative Mood = Not Likely (Wishful)

Present

Optative Present

Future

Optative Future

1st Aorist

Optative 1 Aorist

2nd Aorist

1st Perfect

Optative 1 perfect

2nd Perfect

Optative 2 Perfect

Future Perfect

Optative Future Perfect

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