LESSON XL: Optative Middle and Passive. Optative after Verbs of Fearing.

Paradigms for the Optative Middle and Passive

378. Learn the conjugation of the optative middle and passive of the present (λῡοίμην), future (λῡσοίμην), and aorist (λῡσαίμην) tenses of λύω.

Present Optative Middle and Passive of λύω
First Person Singularλῡοί-μην
Second Person Singularλύοι-ο
Third Person Singularλύοι-το
Second Person Dualλύοι-σθον
Third Person Dualλῡοί-σθην
First Person Pluralλῡοί-μεθα
Second Person Pluralλύοι-σθε
Third Person Pluralλύοι-ντο
Future Optative Middle and Passive of λύω
First Person Singularλῡσοί-μην
Second Person Singularλύσοι-ο
Third Person Singularλύσοι-το
Second Person Dualλύσοι-σθον
Third Person Dualλῡσοί-σθην
First Person Pluralλῡσοί-μεθα
Second Person Pluralλύσοι-σθε
Third Person Pluralλύσοι-ντο
Aorist Optative Middle of λύω
First Person Singularλῡσαί-μην
Second Person Singularλύσαι-ο
Third Person Singularλύσαι-το
Second Person Dualλύσαι-σθον
Third Person Dualλῡσαί-σθην
First Person Pluralλῡσαί-μεθα
Second Person Pluralλύσαι-σθε
Third Person Pluralλύσαι-ντο
Aorist Optative Passive of λύω
First Person Singularλυθείη-ν
Second Person Singularλυθείη-ς
Third Person Singularλυθείη
Second Person Dualλυθεῖ-τον or λυθείη-τον
Third Person Dualλυθεί-την λυθειή-την
First Person Pluralλυθεῖ-μεν λυθείη-μεν
Second Person Pluralλυθεῖ-τε λυθείη-τε
Third Person Pluralλυθεῖε-ν λυθείη-σαν

379. The mood suffix is ι, as in the active (362), except in the aorist passive; here it is ιη in the singular and sometimes in the dual and plural, but the shorter forms λυθεῖτον, λυθείτην, etc., occur more frequently. In these forms the accent does not go back of the mood suffix. The optative middle and passive uses the middle and passive secondary endings (175), except in the aorist passive, where the active endings occur (145).

The Optative After Verbs Denoting Fear

381. After verbs denoting fear, caution, or danger, μή, that or lest, takes the optative after secondary tenses. The negative form is μὴ οὐ.

380. For example:

1. ἔδεισα μὴ τὰς γεφύρᾱς λύοιεν, I feared that they would destroy the bridges.

2. ἐδείσαμεν μὴ οὐ πιστοὶ εἶτε,we feared that you would not be faithful.

The verb which denotes fear is here in a secondary tense (cf. 333), and the subordinate clause takes the optative.


840. Verbs signifying to name, choose or appoint, make, think or regard, and the like, may take a predicate accusative besides the object accusative. Thus, πατέρα Ξενοφῶντα ἐκάλουν, they called Xenophon ‘father,’ φίλον ποιήσωμεν τοῦτον, let us make him our friend, τὸν σατράπην φίλον οὐ νομιεῖ, he will not regard the satrap as a friend.

849. The genitive (as ablative) may denote that from which anything is separated or distinguished. On this principle the genitive follows verbs denoting to remove, restrain, release, cease, fail, differ, give up, and the like. Thus, διέσχον ἀλλήλων ὡς τριάκοντα στάδια, they were about thirty furlongs distant from one another, ἐπέσχον τῆς πορείᾱς, they desisted from marching, πολέμου ἡδέως παύσεται, he will be glad to stop fighting.

866. The dative is used to denote cause, manner, and means or instrument. Thus, φιλίᾳ καὶ εὐνοίᾳ ἐβοήθουν αὐτῷ, they helped him because of their friendship and good will, πορεύονται κύκλῳ, they advance in a circle, αὐτοὺς φοβοῦσι τῇ κραυγῇ, they frighten them by their uproar, diabaqinoysi πλοίοις, they cross in boats, βούλεται ἡμῖν χρῆσθαι, he wishes to use (i.e. serve himself by) us, γένει προσήκει βασιλεῖ, in family he is related to the king.


εἴσω (cf. εἰς)adv., inside, within.
ἑκατέρωθενadv.,on both sides or flanks.
εὐνοϊκῶς (cf. εὔνους)adv., with good will, kindly.
ἐχθρός, ά, όνhostile; ἐχθρός, ο, as noun, enemy, foe.
κύκλος, ου, ὁcircle, curve.
κυκλόω, κυκλώσω, etc.encircle, hem in.
ὅμωςadv., nevertheless, yet, still, however.
πλησιάζω (πλησιαδ), πλησιάσω, etc.approach.
στερέω, στερήσω, etc.deprive, rob, bereave.
σῴζω (σω, σωδ), σώσω, ἔσωσα, σέσωκα, σέσωμαι and σέσωσμαι, ἐσώθηνsave, rescue, keep safe; mid. and pass., save oneself, be saved alive, return safely.
σῶμα, ατος, τόbody, life, person.


1. ἔδεισε μὴ οἱ ἐχθροὶ τῑμηθεῖεν.
2. εἰ οἱ Ἕλληνες πλησιάζοιεν, φοβηθεῖεν ἂν οἱ πολέμιοι.
3. Ξενοφῶντα ἄρχοντα ἐποιησάμεθα ἵνα σωθεῖμεν.
4. εὐνοϊκῶς ἂν ἔχοι1 τοῖς Ἕλλησιν ὁ Κῦρος, εἰ ψηφίσαιντο συμπορεύεσθαι.
5. εἰ ὅπλα μὴ ἔχοιμεν, καὶ τῶν σωμάτων2 στερηθεῖμεν ἄν.
6. εἰ δὲ πιεζοίμεθα ὑπὸ τῶν πολεμίων, πορευοίμεθα ἂν κύκλῳ3.
7. οἱ δὲ στρατιῶται ἔδεισαν μὴ καταλειφθείησαν.
8. εἰ νῑκήσαιμεν, καὶ (both) σῳζοίμεθα ἂν καὶ τὰ ἐπιτήδεια ἂν ἔχοιμεν.
9. ἀλλ᾿ ὅμως ὁ στρατηγὸς ἐφοβήθη μὴ κυκλωθείη ἑκατέρωθεν.
10. παρεκάλουν τοὺς ἄνδρας εἴσω ὅπως αὐτοῖς συμβουλευοίμην τί δίκαιόν ἐστι καὶ πρὸς θεῶν καὶ πρὸς ἀνθρώπων.

NOTES.—1 be well disposed. ἔχω is used with an adverb in the sense of εἰμί with an adjective. Cf. καλῶς ἔχει in 308.—2 Verbs of depriving may take a genitive of the thing. Cf. 838. This is the genitive of separation (849).—3 Dative of manner (866).

385. The Soldiers go hunting.

οἱ γὰρ ὄνοι, ἐπεὶ οἱ στρατιῶται ἐδίωκον, προέτρεχον· καὶ πάλιν, ἐπεὶ ἐπλησίαζον οἱ ἵπποι, ταὐτὸ ἐποίουν, καὶ οὐκ ἦν λαμβάνειν εἰ μὴ οἱ στρατιῶται διετάττοντο. στρουθὸν δὲ οὐδεὶς (nobody) ἔλαβεν. ταῖς γὰρ πτέρυξιν ὥσπερ ἱστίῳ ἐχρῆτο, καὶ οἱ διώκοντες ταχὺ ἐπαύοντο. τὰς δὲ ὠτίδας, εἴ τις ταχὺ διώκει, ἔστι λαμβάνειν· πέτονται γὰρ βραχὺ καὶ ταχὺ ἀπαγορεύουσι.

NOTES.—2. ἦν: was possible. Cf. ἔστι in 6.—3. διετάττοντο: posted themselves at intervals, and thus took up the chase in succession.—4. ἔλαβε: second aorist of λαμβάνω. —πτέρυξιν: χράομαι takes the dative. Cf. 309, 1. —5. ἐχρῆτο: irregular contraction for ἐχρᾶτο.—7. βραχύ: a short distance.