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390. Optative in questions.

As the mood of the question is the mood of the expected or anticipated answer, no direct question can be put in the pure optative of wish, inasmuch as no question expects a wish for an answer, though it may get one. Whenever, then, the optative is found in a direct question, it is a potential optative, and, like other potential optative questions, implies a wish of the speaker. Corruption of the text is often indicated.

ῥά νύ μοί τι πίθοιο”; HOM. Il. 4.93 = 7.48; Ah, wouldst thou not yield to me somewhat? (= “εἴθε πίθοιο”).

See under Optative withἄν”.

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