previous next

291.Negative μή.) The negative μή of the interrogative subjunctive is explained by the origin of the construction (288). If ἔλθωμεν; shall we go? is the interrogative of ἔλθωμεν, let us go, then μὴ ἔλθωμεν; shall we not go? is the interrogative of μὴ ἔλθωμεν, let us not go, and implies (addressed to others) do you wish not to have us go? This is still more evident when βούλεσθε is prefixed to the subjunctive (288). Similar to this interrogative form of the subjunctive of exhortation is the rare interrogative imperative (also negatived by μή); as ἂν μετὰ τέχνης γράψας ἀφίκηται, μὴ ἐξέστω δὴ ἕτερα προστάττειν; i.e. is he not to be allowed to give other orders? PLAT. Polit. 295E , where μὴ ἐξέστω; is the interrogative of μὴ ἐξέστω, let him not be allowed, as μὴ ἔλθωμεν; (above) is that of μὴ ἔλθωμεν, let us not go. See also the indirect question in Leg. 800E, ἐπανερωτῶ πάλιν, τῶν ἐκμαγείων ταῖς ὠδαῖς εἰ πρῶτον ἓν τοῦθ᾽ ἡμῖν ἀρέσκον κείσθω, I ask again, whether first this is to stand approved by us as one of our models for songs. We cannot express such an imperative precisely in English; and there is the same difficulty with οἶσθ᾽ δρᾶσον; etc., in 253. See also ὥστε with imperative forms (602).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: