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§§ 906-2152 deal, in general, with the simple sentence. The following summary shows the chief forms of simple sentences (921) used in Attic.


1. Statements of Fact (direct assertions) as to the present, past, or future are made in the indicative mood (negative οὐ), 1770.

A. Statements of fact include statements of present, past, or future possibility, likelihood, or necessity, which are expressed by the indicative of a verb denoting possibility, likelihood, or necessity, and an infinitive (1774-1779).

B. Statements of customary or repeated past action are made in the imperfect or aorist indicative with ἄν (negative οὐ), 1790.

2. Statement of Opinion (usually cautious, doubtful, or modest assertions) as to what may be (might be), can be (could be), may (might, could, would) have been, etc., are made:

A. In reference to the present or past: by ἐβουλόμην ἄν I should like or I should have liked (negative οὐ), 1789. (Rarely by the indicative without ἄν, negative μή or μὴ οὐ, 1772.)

B. In reference to the past: by the aorist or imperfect indicative with ἄν (negative οὐ), 1784, cp. 1786.

C. In reference to the present (statement of present opinion the verification of which is left to the future): by the optative with ἄν (negative οὐ), 1824.

D. In reference to the future: by the present subjunctive with μή or μὴ οὐ (1801); by οὐ μή with the aorist subjunctive to denote an emphatic denial (1804).


Assumptions, including concessions, are usually expressed by the imperative (negative μή), 1839. Other forms occur, as καὶ δή with the indicative (negative οὐ), 1771; a verb of assuming with the accu sative and infinitive, etc.


1. Positive Commands are expressed by the

A. Imperative, except in the first person (1835).

B. Subjunctive, in the first person (1797).

C. Future indicative (negative οὐ) 1917, 1918; with ὅπως (1920).

D. Optative without ἄν (1820); potential optative with ἄν (negative οὐ, 1830).

E. Infinitive used independently (2013).

2. Negative Commands (Prohibitions, 1840), including Exhortations, are expressed by μή with the

A. Present imperative (1840) or aorist subjunctive (second or third person), 1800.

B. Present or aorist subjunctive in the first person plural (1840).

C. Aorist imperative in the third person (rare), 1840.

D. Future indicative with ὅπως μή (1920); with οὐ μή (1919).

E. Aorist subjunctive with ὅπως μή (rare), 1803; with οὐ μή (rare), 1800, N.

F. Infinitive used independently (2013).

2156. WISHES

1. μή is the negative of a direct expression of a wish, and of all indirect expressions of wish except πῶς ἄν with the optative and a form of βούλομαι with the infinitive.

2. Wishes for the future, whether the object of the wish is reasonable or unreasonable, attainable or unattainable, are expressed by the optative with or without εἴθε or εἰ γάρ (1814, 1815). Indirect expressions are: πῶς ἄν with the optative (1832); βουλοίμην ἄν with the infinitive (1827).

3. Wishes for the present: that something might be otherwise than it now is, are expressed by the imperfect with εἴθε or εἰ γάρ (1780). Indirect expressions are: ὤφελον (with or without εἴθε or εἰ γάρ) and the present or aorist infinitive (1781); ἐβουλόμην (with or without ἄν) with the infinitive (1782, 1789).

4. Wishes for the past: that something might have been otherwise than it then was, are expressed by the aorist indicative with εἴθε or εἰ γάρ (1780). Indirect: ὤφελον (with or without εἴθε or εἰ γάρ) with the present or aorist infinitive (1781).

5. Unattainable wishes for the present or past may be entirely reasonable.


A simple question results from making any form of statement interrogative. Direct and indirect questions are treated in 2636 ff. See also the Index.


Exclamations form complete or incomplete (904) sentences. Direct and indirect exclamatory sentences are treated in 2681 ff. See also the Index.

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