LESSON XXXIX: The Present Optative of εἰμί. Optative in Final Clauses. Object Clauses.

The Present Optative of εἰμί

369. Learn the conjugation of the present optative of εἰμί.

Present Optative of εἰμί
First Person Singularεἴην
Second Person Singularεἴης
Third Person Singularεἴη
Second Person Dualεἶτον or εἴητον
Third Person Dualεἴτην or εἰήτην
First Person Pluralεἶμεν or εἴημεν
Second Person Pluralεἶτε or εἴητε
Third Person Pluralεἶεν or εἴησαν

The Optative in Final Clauses

371. Clauses which denote purpose (or final clauses) are introduced by the final particles ἵνα, ὡς, or ὅπως, and take the optative after secondary tenses. The negative is μή.

370. For example:

1. τὴν γέφῡραν ἐλύσαμεν, ἵνα (also ὡς or ὅπως) τοὺς πολεμίους κωλύσαιμεν, we destroyed the bridge, that we might check the enemy.

2. τοῦτον ἀπήγομεν, ἵνα μὴ (also ὡς μὴ, or ὅπως μὴ, or simply μὴ) κακῶς τοὺς φίλους ποιήσειε, we led him away, that he might not do our friends harm.

The clauses which express purpose here take the optative (cf. 325), but they are introduced by the same final particles that introduce the subjunctive. The verb of the principal clause is here in a secondary (50) tense.

The Optative in Object Clauses

373. Object clauses depending on verbs signifying to strive for, to care for, to effect, regularly take the future indicative with ὅπως or ὅπως μή after both primary and secondary tenses.

372. For example:

1. βουλεύεται ὅπως βασιλεύσει ἀντὶ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ, he plans that he may be king in place of his brother.

2. ἐβουλεύετο ὅπως βασιλεύσει ἀντὶ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ, he planned that he might be king in place of his brother.

3. βουλεύεται ὅπως μὴ ἔσται ἐπὶ τῷ ἀδελφῷ, he plans that he may not be in his brother’s power.

4. ἐβουλεύετο ὅπως μὴ ἔσται ἐπὶ τῷ ἀδελφῷ, he planned that he might not be in his brother’s power.

The subordinate clause is here the object of the leading verb, which signifies to plan or strive for (the leading verb may also signify to care for, to effect); this subordinate clause is introduced by ὅπως or, if negative, by ὅπως μή, and has the future indicative whether the principal verb is in a primary or a secondary tense.


846. The genitive follows verbs signifying to taste, smell, hear, perceive, comprehend, remember, forget, desire, care for, spare, neglect, wonder at, admire, despise. Thus, οὔποτε ἡδίονος οἴνου γέγευμαι, I have never tasted finer wine, θορύβου ἤκουσε, he heard a noise, τούτων μέμνησθε; do you remember this? τῶν στρατιωτῶν ἐπεμελεῖτο, he looked out for his men, μὴ ἀμελῶμεν ἡμῶν αὐτῶν, let us not neglect ourselves.

853. The genitive may denote the price or value of a thing. Thus, πόσου διδάσκεις; how much do you charge for your lessons? (literally, for what price do you teach?), φιάλη χρῡσῆ ἀξίᾱ δέκα μνῶν, a gold drinking-cup worth ten minas, φίλος πολλοῦ ἄξιος, a friend worth much (i.e. of great value).

855. The objective genitive follows many verbal adjectives. These are chiefly kindred (in meaning or derivation) to verbs which take the genitive. Thus, ἔμπειροι γὰρ ἦσαν τῆς χώρᾱς, they were familiar with the country (845), τῆς χώρᾱς ἐγκρατεῖς, masters or rulers of the land (847), κῶμαι μεσταὶ σίτου, villages abounding in supplies (848).

858. Adjectives and adverbs of the comparative degree take the genitive (without ἤ, than). Thus, κακίους τῶν ἄλλων, more cowardly than the rest, θᾶττον τῶν ἵππων ἔτρεχον, they ran more swiftly than the horses.


ἐπι-μελέομαι, ἐπι-μελήσομαι, ἐπι-μεμέ-λημαι, ἐπ-εμελήθηνexercise care, care for, give attention to, see to.
ἔρημος, η, ον, and ος, ον (130)deserted, uninhabited, deprived of.
ζητέω, ζητήσω, etc.seek, ask for.
λαμβάνω (λαβ), λήψομαι, ἔλαβον, εἴληφα, εἴλημμαι, ἐλήφθηνtake, receive, get, find.
πορίζω (ποριδ), ποριῶ, etc.furnish, provide; mid.,obtain.
τῑμή, ῆς, ἡ (cf. τῑμάω)value, honor, esteem.
τίμιος, ᾱ, ον (cf. τῑμή)valued, dear.


1. ὁ ἄρχων τοῖς Ἕλλησιν ἡγεμόνα ἔπεμψεν, ἵνα διὰ τῆς πολεμίᾱς χώρᾱς ἄγοι αὐτούς.
2. τοῦτον τὸν ἄνδρα ὠφέλει, ἵνα φίλον ἔχοι.
3. τίς ἐπιμελεῖται ὅπως οἱ στρατιῶται τὸν μισθὸν λήψονται;
4. τῶν δὲ βαρβάρων1 ἐπεμελεῖτο, ὅπως πολεμεῖν τε ἱκανοὶ εἴησαν καὶ εὖνοι αὐτῷ.
5. ἐζήτουν τοὺς ἄρχοντας, ἵνα αὐτοῖς συμβουλεύοιεν.
6. τῷ Κλεάρχῳ ἐπεβούλευε Μένων, ἵνα φίλος εἴη τῷ σατράπῃ.
7. ἄξιοι ἂν εἶτε τῑμῆς2 φίλοι, εἰ πορίζοιτε τῷ στρατεύματι ὅπλα.
8. ἐπιμελήσεται ὁ Κῦρος ὅπως οἱ στρατιῶται χάριν ἕξουσιν αὐτῷ.
9. καὶ σὺν αὐτοῖς μὲν εἴην ἂν τίμιος, αὐτῶν3 δὲ εἰ ἔρημος εἴην, οὐκ ἂν ἱκανὸς εἴην τοὺς φίλους ὡφελεῖν.

NOTES. —1 The genitive follows verbs signifying to care for (846).—2 The genitive depending on ἄξιος, worthy, is the genitive of value (853). —3 The genitive depends on adjectives signifying fulness or want (855).

377. Advance through the Desert of Arabia.

ἐντεῦθεν ἐξελαύνει διὰ τῆς Ἀραβίᾱς, τὸν Εὐφράτην ποταμὸν ἐν δεξιᾷ ἔχων, σταθμοὺς ἐρήμους πέντε παρασάγγᾱς τριάκοντα καὶ πέντε. ἐν τούτῳ δὲ τῷ τόπῳ ἦν ἡ γῆ πεδίον ἅπαν ὁμαλὸν ὥσπερ θάλαττα. θηρία δὲ παντοῖα ἐνῆν, ὄνοι ἄγριοι καὶ στρουθοὶ αἱ Ἀράβιαι· ἐνῆσαν δὲ καὶ ὠτίδες καὶ δορκάδες. ταῦτα δὲ τὰ θηρία οἱ στρατιῶται ἐνίοτε ἐδίωκον ἀπὸ ἵππων· καὶ τοὺς ὄνους χαλεπὸν ἦν λαμβάνειν· θᾶττον γὰρ τῶν ἵππων ἔτρεχον.

NOTES.—5. στρουθοί: for an ancient picture of the ostrich, see no. 28.— 8. ἵππων: a genitive of comparison (858) after θᾶττον,more quickly, the comparative of the adverb ταχέως, quickly.