Koine Greek: Verbs - Optative

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Optative Verbs in Koine Greek


The optative mood of a verb in Koine Greek is an uncommonly used verb form that is used to express potential or possibility.

The optative mood is similar to the subjunctive form, which is much more common in Koine Greek. The optative mood was common in the more ancient, Classical Attic Greek. In the New Testament, there are a small number of expressions that had become idiomatic in Koine Greek, but were actually optative verb forms. These include

  • μη γενοιτο - May it never be! (or sometimes translated: God forbid!) (literally: not it might become)
  • ειη - It might be

Negating the Optative

Optatives are negated by μη, and not by ου.



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