Lesson 24: The Subjunctive Mood


dikaiosunh righteousness
eu0aggelizomai I preach the gospel
marturia witness, martyr
oi0kia house
paidion child
e0an (with subjunctive) if
ei0 (with indicative) if
i9na (with subjunctive) in order that

ASSIGNMENT: Memorize the vocabulary above.

The verbs we have studied so far have all been indicative in mood. (Remember, verbs have voice (active or passive), tense (past, present, future, etc), and mood.

The subjunctive mood indicates action that is possible or potential. For example:

  • Indicative Mood- The child runs (indicating action taking place).

  • Subjunctive Mood- If the child runs, he will escape (possible action).

  • Optative Mood- Oh, that the child would run! (indicating a wish).

  • Imperative Mood- Run, child (indicating a command or order).

We have learned verbs of the indicative mood and we are now learning verbs of the subjunctive mood (the other two moods listed above will be learned later, but are given here for purposes of comparison).

The subjunctive mood is used in the following ways:

1- The Hortatory Subjunctive- exhorting someone to action.

2- The Prohibitive Subjunctive- action is prohibited.

3- The Deliberative Subjunctive- the same as the rhetorical question in English.

These possibilities will be clear in the context of the sentence which is being translated.

The Subjunctive Mood is also used in conditional sentences. In the Greek New Testament there are 4 kinds of conditional sentences. They are:

  • 1st Class- The reality of the condition is affirmed.

    (ei0 with the indicative mood)

  • 2nd Class- The contrary to fact condition.

    (ei0 with the indicative followed by an with the indicative)

  • 3rd Class- The Probable Future condition

    (e0an with the subjunctive)

  • 4th Class- The possible future condition

    (ei0 with the optative followed by an with the optative)

For Example:

  • 1st class- Since he is studying Greek, he will learn Greek.

  • 2nd class- If he had studied, he would have learned Greek

  • 3rd class- If he studies, he will learn Greek

  • 4th class- If he would study, he would learn Greek.

ASSIGNMENT: Memorize the uses of the Subjunctive mood and the 4 classes of conditional sentences above.

Now we will learn the forms of the Subjunctive Mood.

The Present Subjunctive of ei0mi is:

w0 w0men
h0ab w0sin

The Present Active Subjunctive of luw is:

luw luwmen
luhj luhte
luh luwsin

The First Aorist Active Subjunctive of luw is:

lusw luswmen
lushj lushte
lush luswsin

The present Middle and Passive Subjunctive of luw is:

luwmai luwmeqa
luh luhsqe
luhtai luwntai

The 1st Aorist Passive Subjunctive of luw is:

luqw luqwmen
luqhj luqhte
luqh luqwsin

Notice that the paradigms above have no translation with them. This is because subjunctive verbs cannot be correctly translated without a context. The student must know whether a sentence containing a subjunctive verb is 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th class to correctly render it. There will be plenty of time to practice translating these verbs -- they are all over the New Testament.

ASSIGNMENT: Memorize the paradigms above, and translate the following sentences.

1. ei0 au0th e0stin h9 marturia tou i0dontoj ton kurion pisteuw au0thn

2. ei0 e0khruxaj to eu0aggelion, oi9 a0n a9martwloi e0pisteusan

3. e0an ei0selqhte ei0j thn oi0kian tou maqhtou, didacai u9min touj logouj thj zwhj

4. mh ei0selqhj ei0j touj oi0kouj twn ponerwn