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399. Optative in semi-dependent and in dependent clauses.

Outside of the Ideal (Optative) Condition the main uses of the optative in semi-dependent (368) and dependent sentences are these:

I. Optative after Historical Tenses:

The optative is used to represent both the indicative and the subjunctive in oratio obliqua after historical tenses.

1. Optative for Indicative.—When the optative represents the indicative, it takes all the corresponding tenses of the indicative. For examples, see 307-310 and 312.

2. Optative as Representative of the Subjunctive.—When the optative represents the subjunctive, it is of course limited to the subjunctive tenses—present, aorist, and perfect. For examples, see Oratio Obliqua.

The optative is also said to represent the subjunctive with “ἄν” in oratio obliqua, but in the class of sentences in which this is said to take place, “ἄν” was not required in the early language, so that there is no violation of the rule.1

II. Optative in Complementary Clauses:

The optative is used in complementary clauses, often when we should expect a form of the subjunctive. For examples, see Relative Sentences.

1 See A. J. P. iii (1882), 441.

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