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1860. Subjunctive.—The subjunctive mood as such refers to the future. The tenses do not refer to differences of time, and denote only the stage of the action (continuance, simple occurrence, completion with permanent result).

Present (continuance): ““τὰ αὑτῶν ἅμα ἐκποριζώμεθαlet us at the same time keep developing our resourcesT. 1.82; Aorist (simple occurrence): ““πορισώμεθα οὖν πρῶτον τὴν δαπάνηνlet us procure the money firstT. 1.83; Perfect (completion with permanent result): ἵνα, ἢν μὴ ὑπακούωσι, τεθνήκωσιν that, in case they do not submit, they may be put to death (lit. may be dead at once) T. 8.74. The aorist commonly replaces the more exact perfect because the perfect is rarely used.

a. The future time denoted by present or aorist (τί ποιῶμεν; or τί ποιήσωμεν; what shall we do?) may refer, according to the sense, either to the next moment or to some later time. Greek has no subjunctive form denoting an intention to do this or that. In dependent constructions (including general conditions) the action of the present is generally coincident (rarely subsequent), that of the aorist is generally anterior (rarely coincident), to the action of the leading verb: ““χαλεπαίνουσι, ἐπειδὰν αὐτοῖς παραγγέλλω πί_νειν τὸ φάρμακονthey are angry whenever I bid them drink the poisonP. Ph. 116c, ἐπειδὰν ἅπαντ᾽ ἀκούσητε, κρί_νατε when you (shall) have heard everything, decide D. 4.14. The use of the aorist of time relatively anterior to the action of the leading verb ( = Lat. future perfect) is, like its other references to relative time, only an inference from the connection of the thought (1850 a).

b. Present and aorist subjunctive are occasionally used in the same sentence without any great difference in sense (X. C. 1.2.6-7, 5. 5. 13).

c. An independent or dependent subjunctive may be ingressive (1924): ἢν γὰρ Πλοῦτος νυνὶ βλέψῃ for if now Plutus recovers his sight Ar. Pl. 494.

d. In general conditions (2336) the subjunctive refers to general time, denoting what holds true now and at all times.

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  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.pos=2.2
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