Quartz Hill School of Theology

Lesson 24: The Subjunctive Mood


δικαιοσυνη     righteousness
εὐαγγελιζομαι     I preach the gospel
μαρτυρια     witness, martyr
οἰκια     house
παιδιον     child
ἐαν (with subjunctive)     if
εἰ (with indicative)     if
ίνα (with subjunctive)     in order that

ASSIGNMENT: Memorize the vocabulary above.

The verbs we have studied so far have all been indicative in mood. (Remember, verbs have voice (active or passive), tense (past, present, future, etc), and mood.

The subjunctive mood indicates action that is possible or potential. For example:

  • Indicative Mood- The child runs (indicating action taking place).

  • Subjunctive Mood- If the child runs, he will escape (possible action).

  • Optative Mood- Oh, that the child would run! (indicating a wish).

  • Imperative Mood- Run, child (indicating a command or order).

We have learned verbs of the indicative mood and we are now learning verbs of the subjunctive mood (the other two moods listed above will be learned later, but are given here for purposes of comparison).


The subjunctive mood is used in the following ways:

1- The Hortatory Subjunctive- exhorting someone to action.
2- The Prohibitive Subjunctive- action is prohibited.
3- The Deliberative Subjunctive- the same as the rhetorical question in English.

These possibilities will be clear in the context of the sentence which is being translated.


The Subjunctive Mood is also used in conditional sentences. In the Greek New Testament there are 4 kinds of conditional sentences. They are:

  • 1st Class- The reality of the condition is affirmed.

    (εἰ with the indicative mood)

  • 2nd Class- The contrary to fact condition.

    (εἰ with the indicative followed by αν with the indicative)

  • 3rd Class- The Probable Future condition

    (ἐαν with the subjunctive)

  • 4th Class- The possible future condition

    (εἰ with the optative followed by αν with the optative)

For Example:

  • 1st class- Since he is studying Greek, he will learn Greek.

  • 2nd class- If he had studied, he would have learned Greek

  • 3rd class- If he studies, he will learn Greek

  • 4th class- If he would study, he would learn Greek.

ASSIGNMENT: Memorize the uses of the Subjunctive mood and the 4 classes of conditional sentences above.

Now we will learn the forms of the Subjunctive Mood.

The Present Subjunctive of εἰμι is:

ὠ    ὠμεν
ἠαβ    ὠσιν

The Present Active Subjunctive of λυω is:

λυω    λυωμεν
λυης    λυητε
λυη    λυωσιν

The First Aorist Active Subjunctive of λυω is:

λυσω    λυσωμεν
λυσης    λυσητε
λυση    λυσωσιν

The present Middle and Passive Subjunctive of λυω is:

λυωμαι    λυωμεθα
λυη    λυησθε
λυηται    λυωνται

The 1st Aorist Passive Subjunctive of λυω is:

λυθω    λυθωμεν
λυθης    λυθητε
λυθη    λυθωσιν

Notice that the paradigms above have no translation with them. This is because subjunctive verbs cannot be correctly translated without a context. The student must know whether a sentence containing a subjunctive verb is 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th class to correctly render it. There will be plenty of time to practice translating these verbs -- they are all over the New Testament.

ASSIGNMENT: Memorize the paradigms above, and translate the following sentences.

1. εἰ αὐτη ἐστιν ἡ μαρτυρια του ἰδοντος τον κυριον πιστευω αὐτην

2. εἰ ἐκηρυχας το εὐαγγελιον, οἱ ἀν ἁμαρτωλοι ἐπιστευσαν

3. ἐαν εἰσελθητε εἰς την οἱκιαν του μαθητου, διδαξαι ὑμιν τους λογους της ζωης

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Email: info@theology.edu
Website: www.theology.edu

Quartz Hill School of Theology
43543 51st Street West
Quartz Hill, CA 93536

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