Short-cut to the Optative:

1) Essential meaning: optative is the 'mood' of wishing

    or 'less vivid' supposing = may/might...

a) as a Main verb (with εἴθε or εἰ γάρ),

expresses a Wish or prayer, 'would that... (might happen)'

b) in dependent clauses after past tense main verb; esp. subjunctive --> optative.


2) Formed as follows:

a) no augment! present or aorist stem (or future) + ι or ιη + 2nd aor. endings

So 'may we receive' is λαμβάνο-ι-μεν ... λάβο-ι-μεν


Except, -οιν--> -οιμι or οιεν ... So 'may I receive' is λάβο-ι-μι.

'May they receive' is λάβο-ι-εν

(-εν is the proper 'they' ending for all actives and aor.passive)


1st aor. -σαιν --> σαιμι ...-σαιεν (or -σειαν]

So 'may I write' (aor.) = γράψα-ι-μι


b) for thematic verb forms the connecting vowel is -o-

(Again, 'may we receive' is λαμβάνο-ι-μεν ... λάβο-ι-μεν) 

c) for any vowel-stem verb (thematic or athematic)

the sign of the optative is -ιη- in the singular only

So 'might I honor' = τιμα-ο-ιη-ν-->τιμῳην (thematic)

'Might I stand' =ἱστα-ιη-ν-->ἱσταίην (athematic)


τιθε-ιη-ν --> τιθείην

δηλο-ο-ιη-ν--> δηλοίην (thematic)

διδο-ιη-ν--> διδοίην (athematic)

All aorist passives (athematic) = (θ)ε-ιη-ν

plurals, (θ)ε-ι-μενͺ κτλ.