Subjunctive made simple.


The subjunctive is the ‘mood’ of purpose and contingency (one might call it ‘the more vivid mood’), describing aims and events not quite actualized. Perhaps the most characteristic uses are ‘purpose clauses’ (he acts so that he may win, ὅπως νικᾷ, etc.) and ‘if clauses’ general and ‘more vivid’ (‘if he wins...’ ἐὰν νικᾷ—meaning he’s likely to or usually does). The subjunctive is also used as a main verb to express a sort of command: let him learn! Μανθάνῃ (meaning, he had better do it).


The formation of the subjunctive is absurdly easy: 

stem (present or aorist) + long vowel ω/η + present endings.

NB.  (1) aorist has no augment.

(2) Some forms of the present subjunctive (esp. a-stems) are same as indicative.



active ending = εἰμι 'be'

middle endings

(pres).      ἀγ-




(aor.)  ἀγαγ--










-ῃ (< η σ αι)








pres.  νικα   +



-ω   >> νικῶ 

 -ῃς  >> νικᾷς

-ῃ  >> νικᾷ

-ωμεν >> νικῶμεν 

-ητε  >> νικᾶτε                   

-ωσι  >> νικῶσι

-ωμαι   >> νικῶμαι

-ῃ (< η σ αι) >> νικᾷ

-ηται   >> νικᾶται

-ωμεθα  >> νικῶμεν

-ησθε  >> νικᾶσθε

-ωνται  >> νικῶνται



aor. νικησ(α)   +

-ω   >> νικήσω

 -ῃς  >> νικήσῃς

-ῃ  >> νικήσῃ

-ωμεν >> νικήσωμεν

-ητε  >> νικήσητε

-ωσι  >> νικήσωσι




 δηλόω differs only where -o- prevails over -η-:

δηλοῖς, δηλοῖ (= indicative), and δηλῶτε, δηλῶσθε (cf. δίδωμι, below)


Subjunctive of μι-verbs (21β) is even easier: the vowel of stem combines with the subjunctive endings (usually circumflexed)

(δι)δ     +

 stem -o- prevails













ἵημι >>  ἱ/ '   +

(ἱ)στ     +

(τι)θ     +

δεικνυ/δειξ  +














Aorist passive subjunctives simply add endings to the (θ):  δοθῶ, δοθῇς / σταθῶ, σταθῇς, κτλ.