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Greek Verbs: Subjunctive Mood

The subjunctive describes what may or might be, rather than what is. In English often the subjunctive is an if clause:
If I had studied the Greek text, I would have passed the exam. Its use is to show potentiality whether probability or possibility (Wallace).

The subjunctive has only one aspect.

The subjunctive can be present and indicate a continouse action, or aorist indicating undefined action (ie the aspect of the verb). Other than ten occurrences of perfect active subjunctive forms of ο ἶδα, (εἰδῶ twice, εἰδῇς once, εἰδῶμεν once, and εἰδῆτε six times) all subjunctives in the Greek New Testament are either present or aorist.

Formation

Present subjunctive:
Present tense stem + Lengthened connecting vowel (ω/η) + Primary personal ending

Aorist subjunctive:
Unaugmented aorist tense stem + (Tense formative +) Lengthened connecting vowel (ω/η) + primary personal ending

Identifying a subjunctive

Identifying a subjunctive
  • Look for ἵνα, ἐάν or ἂν
  • Is the connecting vowel lengthened (ω/η)?
  • Is the aorist missing an augment?
  • Look for the following clues:
ὃταν (ὄτε + ἂν)
whenever
ἐάν (εἰ + ἂν)
if
ὃς ἂν
whoever
ὃπου ἄν
wherever
ἓως
until
ἓως ἄν
until

 

Master Nonindicative Verb Chart

Master Nonindicative Verb Chart
Verb Tense Aug/
Red
Tense Stem Tense
Form
Con Vowel Primary
Pers End
Pdg
Pres Active
  Pres   ω/η Act λύω
P Mid/Pass
  Pres   ω/η Mid/Pass λύωμαι
1st Ao Act
  Aor Act σ(α) ω/η Act λύσω
1st Ao Mid
  Aor Act σ(α) ω/η Mid/Pass λύσωμαι
1st Ao Pass
  Aor Pass θ(η) ω/η Act λυθῶ
2nd Ao Act
  Aor Act   ω/η Act λάβω
2nd Ao Mid
  Aor Act   ω/η Mid/Pas γένωμαι
2nd Ao Pass
  Aor Pass   ω/η Act γράφω
Lengthened connecting vowel ~ο → ω, ~ε → η; All personal endings are PRIMARY; Look for ἄν in any of its combinations: ὅταν(ὅτε + ἄν), ἐὰν (εί + ἄν), ὅς ἄν, ἕως ἄν

 

A few uses of the Subjunctive

A few uses of the Subjunctive

Dependent Clauses

  • ἵνα + subjunctive expresses purpose; ἵνα μή or ὅπως μή = "in order that not" i.e. "lest"
  • ἐάν + subjuntive expressess a condition i.e."If... then ..." which is a 3rd class condition which has 2 types:
    • 1. Future More Probable, aka Future More Vivid)
    • 2. Present General

Independent Clauses

  • Hortatory Subjunctive (let as)
    • "Hortatory" is related to the word "exhort"
  • Deliberative Subjunctive
    • A question whose answer in uncertain or in doubt
  • Also used in emphatic negation and prohibition

 

Paradigms

Present Subjunctive
Active
  Subjunctive Indicative Subjuncive
  I might loose I loose   I might be
1st s
λύω λύω  
2nd s
λύεις λύεις   ἦς
3rd s
λύει λύει  
     
1st pl
λύομεν λύομεν   ὦμεν
2nd pl
λύετε λύετε   ἦτε
3rd pl
λύουσι(ν) λύουσι(ν)   ὦσι(ω)

 

Present Subjunctive
Middle/Passive
  Subjunctive   Indicative
  I might loose   I loose
1st s
λύωμαι   λύομαι
2 nd s
λύῃ   λύῃ
3rd s
λύηται   λύεται
     
1st pl
λυώμεθα   λυόμεθα
2nd pl
λύησθε   λύεσθε
3rd pl
λύωνται   λύονται

 

Aorist Subjunctive
Active
  Subjunctive Indicative
  1st aorist 2nd aorist   1st aorist 2nd aorist
1st s
λύσω λάβω   ἔλυσα ἔλαβον/td>
2nd s
λύσῃς λάβῃ`   ἔλυσας ἔλαβες
3rd s
λύσῃ λάβῃ   ἔλυσε(ν) ἔλαβε(ν)
     
1st pl
λύσωμεν λάβωμεν   ἐλύσαμεν ἐλάβομεν
2nd pl
λύσητε λάβητε   ἔλυσαν ἐλάβετε
3rd pl
λύσωσι(ν) λάβωσι (ν)   ἔλυσαν ἔλαβον

 

Aorist Subjunctive
Middle
  Subjunctive Indicative
  1st aorist 2nd aorist   1st aorist 2nd aorist
1st s
λύσωμαι γένωμαι ἐλυσάμην ἐγενόμην
2nd s
λύσῃ γένῃ ἐλύσω ἐγένου
3rd s
λύσηται γένηται ἐλύσατο ἐγένετο
     
1st pl
λυσώμεθα λιπώμεθα ἐλυσάμεθα ἐγενόμεθα
2nd pl
λύσησθε γένησθε ἐλύσασθε ἐγένεσθε
3rd pl
λύσωνται γένωνται ἐλύσαντο ἐγένοντο

 

Aorist Subjunctive
Passive
  Subjunctive Indicative
  1st aorist 2nd aorist   1st aorist 2nd aorist
1st s
λυθῶ γραφῶ ἐλύθην ἐγράαφην
2nd s
λυθῇς γραφῇς ἐλύθης εγράφης
3rd s
λυθῇ γραπῇ ἐλύθη έγράφθη
     
1st pl
λυθῶμεν γφαφῶμεν ἐλύθημεν έγράφημεν
2nd pl
λυθῆτε γραφῆτε ἐλύθητε έγράφητε
3rd pl
λυθῶσι (ν) γραφῶσι (ν) ἐλύθησαν έγράφησαν

 

Some Examples

Luke 2:15 διέλθωμεν δὴ ἕως Βηθλέεμ "Let us to as far as Bethlehem"

 

Romans 6:1 ἐπιμενοῦμεν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ἵνα ἡ χάρις πλεονάσῃ; "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?"

 

Luke21:32 ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἡ γενεὰ αὕτη ἕως ἂν πάντα γένηται: "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place"

 

Acts 16:30 τί με δεῖ ποιεῖν ἵνα σωθῶ; "what must I do to be saved?"

 

Luke 21:8 βλέπετε μὴ πλανηθῆτε "Take heed that you are not deceived"

 

Matthew 5:11 μακάριοί ἐστε ὅταν ὀνειδίσωσιν ὑμᾶς "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you"

 

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