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Title: A Greek Primer - For Beginners in New Testament Greek
Author: Stearns, Wallace
Language: English
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For Beginners in New Testament Greek

μηδὲν ἄγαν


Wallace N. Stearns

[image: logo]


Copyright, 1914, by


A scholarly knowledge of Greek requires some time and effort.
Every preacher and teacher of the New Testament books would be
greatly helped by being able even to refer to the dictionary
and to pick out the critical notes in a high-grade commentary.

In many instances memory has grown dim, and there is need of
some not too pretentious guide to a new beginning.

Out of many such experiences this meager outline has come, an
attempt built up on the old maxim, "Do not in the beginning
attempt too much."


   1 Learn principles. Language preceded grammar, and the
   latter is at best a generalization of the former.
   2 Learn words. Acquire a vocabulary. The first step is
   to know words and, further, to know them in their Greek
   3 Read aloud. The ear lends efficient help to the eye.
   There is an indefinable swing even to Greek prose that
   facilitates study.
   4 Commit passages—however brief—to memory. Better than
   rules is a fund of actual examples, stored up in the memory,
   of Greek as it was spoken and written.
   5 With this outline the text of the forth Gospel should
   be used from the start (see notice on next page) for study,
   reading aloud, and for memorizing.
   6 Remember that in the end all methods avail little.
   The way to do a thing is to do it.


B. M. T. Burton's New Testament Moods and Tenses.
Bt.      Babbit's Grammar of Attic and Ionic Greek.
G.       Gildersleeve's Syntax of Classical Greek.
Gl.      Goodell's School Grammar of Attic Greek.
G. M. T. Goodwin's Greek Moods and Tenses.
Gn.      Goodwin's Greek Grammar.
H.A.     Hadley and Allen's Greek Grammar.

Useful beginning books are:

Huddilston's Essentials of New Testament Greek
(Macmillan, 65 cents).

The Gospel of John in Greek, issued by the Massachusetts
Bible Society (10 cents a copy).

Moulton's Brief Dictionary of New Testament Greek
(Hinds and Noble, $1.00); or Green's Greek-English
Lexicon to the New Testament (with supplement. Hastings,
Boston, 75 cents).


1. In learning a new alphabet attention need be paid only to
such letters as are not already know. Of the Greek alphabet
only twelve characters are unfamiliar:

A,   Β,   Γ,   Δ,   Ε,   Ζ,   Η,   Θ,   Ι,   Κ,   Λ,   Μ,
α,   β,   γ,   δ,   ε,   ζ,   η,   θ,   ι,   κ,   λ,   μ,
a,   b,   g,   d,   ĕ,   z,   ē,   th,  i,   k,   l,   m,

Ν,   Ξ,   Ο,   Π,   Ρ,   Σ,   Τ,   Υ,   Φ,   Χ,   Ψ,   Ω,
ν,   ξ,   ο,   π,   ρ, σ(ς),  τ,   υ,   φ,   χ,   ψ,   ω,
n,   ks,  ŏ,   p,   r,   s,    t,   u,   ph,  ch,  ps,  ō,

Note.—The small letters, most used, should be learned. The
capital letters may be learned as they occur.

2. ε, ο are always short; η, ω, always long; α, ι, υ, sometimes
long, sometimes short.

ā as "a" in father.   ī as "i" in machine.
ă as "a" in papa.     ĭ as "i" in pin.
η as "e" in fete.     ω as "o" in note.
ε as "e" in met.      ο as "o" in obey.
υ equals approximately "eu" in feud or the French u.

Note 1.—In diphthongs with a long vowel ι is subscribed.

Note 2.—As in music, the difference between long and short
is one of time, as musical notes image A difference in quality
actually appears in pronunciation.

Note 3.—A diphthong is counted long. But in determining accent
final –αι– and –οι– are counted short except in the optative
mode and in a few words, οἴμοι, οἴκοι. Bt. 3-4; Gl. 5; Gn. 5;
H.A. 9-11.

3. The consonants are classified:

(1) Mutes—
          Smooth  Middle  Rough  With s
Labial,     π       β       φ       ψ
Palatal,    κ       γ       χ       ξ
Lingual,    τ       δ       θ       ζ

(2) Liquids—
λ, μ, ν, ρ, as in English, σ(ς) is a sibilant.

(3) ζ, ξ, ψ are called double consonants.
Bt. 12; Gl. 38; Gn. 18-22.


1. There are as many syllables in a word as there are separate
vowels and diphthongs.

2. Consonants are pronounced with succeeding vowels: λό-γος,
πο-λί-της, ἐ-λέ-γε-το. Where two consonants occur together,
they are not separated at the beginning of a word or in the
case of combinations that do occur at the beginning of the
words. G. 97; H.A. 91.


Accent occurs on one of the last three syllables, and represents
to the eye the movement of the voice in pronouncing words.
Its practical value is to indicate the stress of the voice in reading.

Note 1.—Accent forms are three (acute ´, grave `, and circumflex ˆ)
and may be summarized thus:

  Short ultima {  antepenult   ´
               {  short penult ´
               {  long penult  ˆ
               {  ultima       ´

  Long ultima  {  penult       ´
               {  ultima       ´ or `

Note 2.—In composition acute accent on the last syllable becomes

Note 3.—Accent is often arbitrary. Rules indicate where accent may
(not must) occur.


Words beginning with a vowel are pronounced with or without
aspiration (initial "h"). Aspiration is indicated by the sign
( ῾ ), ὅτι (hoti). Unaspirated syllables are marked ( ᾿ ),
οὐκ (ook).

American him is ῾im; horse is ῾orse.

English im is ᾿im; orse is ᾿orse.

Note 1.—Breathing stands over the vowel: in a diphthong, over
the second vowel (accent also stands over the second vowel,
and precedes the breathing). Bt. 8; Gl. 6; Gn. 11.

Note may be made of the marks of punctuation: comma (,),
colon (·), interrogation (;), period (.).


1. There are three numbers; singular, dual, and plural. In
late Greek the dual is less frequent and except the numeral
δύο, does not occur in the New Testament. Bt. 74; Gl. 57;
Gn. 155; H.A. 123.

2. The five cases are the nominative, genitive (equals of,
or a possessive), dative (equals to, for, with), accusative
(equals English objective), vocative (as in direct address).
Bt 74; Gl. 59; Gn. 160; H.A. 123.

3 The o– declension (stems end in —o—).
         Sing.          Dual         Plural
                     (rare in
                      late Greek)
     Mas. Neut.      Mas. and Neut.   Mas.   Neut.
Nom. —ος  —ον             —ω             —οι    —ᾰ
Gen. —ου  —ου             —οιν           —ων    —ων
Dat. —ῳ   —ῳ              —οιν           —οις   —οις
Acc. —ον  —ον             —ω             —ους   —ᾰ
Voc. —ε   —ον             —ω             —οι    —ᾰ
(or same as Nom.)

(1) Masculine nouns (and a few feminines) end in –ος in
Nom. Sing.: Neuters end in –ον.

(2) The stem of an —o— noun may be found by dropping the
case-ending and adding the stem vowel —o—. Bt. 76; Gl. 62;
Gn. 192; H.A. 133.


Determine stem in each of the following words and affix the
above case-ending. Note changes in the accent and the reasons
therefor. ἄρτος, στόλος, λόγος, υἱός, ἄνθρωπος, ἱερόν; σοφός,
σοφόν; αὐτός, οὔτος.

Translate and construe:

1. λέγει (says) αὐτῷ ὁ Φίλιππος.
2. ἐν τῷ τοῦ Κρόνου ἱερῷ.
3. καλεῖται (is called) οὗτος ὁ τόπος βίος.
4. περίβολος ἦν (was), ἐν αὐτῷ ἒχων (having, = with)
   ἑτέρους περιβόλους δύο.
5. οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι πιστοὶ καὶ ἀληθινοί.

4. The a– declension (stems end in —a—).
         Sing.              Dual           Plural
        Fem.     Mas.      Fem. and Mas.    Mas. and Mas.
Nom.  —α,  —η    —ας, —ης       —ᾱ              —αι
Gen.  —ᾱς, —ης   —ου, —ου       —αιν            —ῶν
Dat.  —ᾳ,  —ῃ    —ᾳ,  —ῃ        —αιν            —αις
Acc.  —αν, —ην   —αν, —ην       —ᾱ              —ᾱς
Voc.  —α,  —η    —α,  —α        —ᾱ              —αι

(1) Feminine nouns in the Nom. Sing. end in –ᾰ, –ᾱ,
or –η; mas. nouns, in –ας or –ης.

(2) In the gen. sing., mas. nouns end in –ου.

(3) Except in the genitive, final –α in the sing. is short
when not preceded by ε, ι, or ρ, otherwise long.

(4) If in the mas. the –ος is preceded by ε, ι, or ρ,
(note 3), the fem. sing. nom. ends in –ᾱ, otherwise in –η.
Bt. 76; Gl. 66; Gn. 171; H.A. 132-3.

Examples—as in 1

μοῦσα, οἰκία, χώρα, τιμή; ὁπλίτης, ταμίας; αὐτή, αὔτη; ἡ ὁδός.

Translate and construe:

1. ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν.
2. καὶ αὕτη ἐστὶν (is) ἡ μαρτυρία τοῦ Ἰωάννου.
3. τὸ δὲ κέντρον τοῦ θανάτου ἡ μαρτυρία.
4. ὁ στέφανος τῆς ζωῆς.
5. ἠ πύλη τοῦ πρώτου περιβόλου.
6. Τύχη ἔστι δὲ οὐ μόνον τυφλή, ᾶλλὰ καὶ κωφή.
7. Πλάνος καὶ Ἄγνοια.

5. The Consonant declension (stems end in a consonant). With
these are grouped in the grammar (3rd declension) nouns with
stems in ι, υ, or a diphthong.

          Sing.               Dual            Plural
                           (rare in
                            late Greek)
      Mas. and Fem.   Neut.  Fem., Mas.,
                             and Neut.    Mas. and Fem.   Neut.
Nom.    —ς, or –       –        —ε            —ες          —ᾰ
Gen.      —ος          —ος      —οιν          —ων          —ων
Dat.      —ι           —ι       —οιν          —σι          —σι
Acc.    —ν, or —ᾰ      –        —ε         —νς or —ᾰς      —ᾰ
Voc.    —ς, or —       –        —ε            —ες          —ᾰ

(1) Necessary here is the table of mutes and their forms when
combined with –s. (I, 3, 1.)

(2) All three genders occur in this declension.

(3) In gen. plural of monosyllabic nouns (as in —α— nouns)
the accent is —ῶν: in datives dual and plural of tones we
have —αῖν, —οῖν, —αῖς, and —οῖς. Bt. 76; Gl. 98; Gn. 225;
H.A. 132-3.

Examples—as in 1

θήρ (stem θερ–), σῶμα (–τος), πίναξ (–κος), σάλπιγξ (–γγος),
λαίλαψ (–πος), φλέψ (–βός), θρίξ (τριχός).

Translate and construe:

1. ἦν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινόν.
2. ἡ δύναμις τῆς ἁμαρτίας ὁ νόμος ἐστίν (is).
3. καὶ ὁ λόγος σάρξ ἐγένετο (become).
4. ἦν πίναξ ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ ναοῦ.
5. ἡ Ἀφροσύνη τοῖς ἀνθρώποις Σφίγξ ἐστιν.
6. οὕτως ἐστὶν ἡ ἀνάστασις τῶν νεκρῶν.

6. These case-endings hold for all (except indeclinables which
undergo no changes) substantives, adjectives (including the
definite article), pronouns, and participles (see verbs).
E. g.:

      Relative Pronouns        Definite Article
 Sing. Mas.   Fem.   Neut.     Mas.   Fem.   Neut.
Nom.    ὅς      ἥ      ὅ        ὁ      ἡ      τό
Gen.    οὗ      ἧς     οὗ       τοῦ    τῆς    τοῦ
Dat.    ᾧ       ᾗ      ᾧ        τῷ     τῇ     τῷ
Acc.    ὅν      ἥν     ὅ        τόν    τήν    τό
                etc.                    etc.
Bt. 144-9; Gl. 214; Gn. 421; H.A. 272-5.

The personal pronouns, as in other languages, are more irregular,
the several parts being traceable to different stems.

        First Person, I       Second Person, Thou
         Sing.   Plural          Sing.   Plural
Nom.      ἐγώ     ἡ-μεῖς          σύ      ὑ-μεῖς
Gen.      ἐ-μοῦ   ἡ-μῶν           σοῦ     ὑ-μῶν
Dat.      ἐ-μοί   ἡ-μῖν           σοί     ὑ-μῖν
Acc.      ἐ-μέ    ἡ-μᾶς           σέ      ὑ-μἀς
Bt. 139; Gl. 194; Gn. 389; H.A. 261.

Translate and construe:

1. ὁ προφήτης εἶ (art).
2. σὺ πίστιν ἔχεις (hast) καὶ ἐγὼ ἔργα.
3. ἐγὼ φωνὴ βοῶντος (one crying) ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ.


1. In the study of the verb four points are to be considered:
stem; tense-signs; theme vowels (short in indicative, imperative,
infinitive, and participial modes; long in the subjunctive and
merged in a diphthong in the optative); and personal endings.

2. The stem is the basic part of the inflected word. To this are
appending the various signs, as above, which in verb analysis must
again be cut off. E. g., τι-μά-ω, I honor, stem τῑμᾰ. Bt. 157-61;
Gl. 248; Gn. 404-7, 153; H.A. 153.

3. The tenses of the verb are called primary or secondary as
they have to do with present (or future) or past time. Taking
the verb λύω as a model we have:

     Primary                   Secondary
Present, stem λυ-          Imperfect, stem ἐ-λυ
Future, stem λυσ-          Aorist, stem ἐ-λυς
Perfect, stem λε-λυκ-      Pluperfect, stem ἐ-λε-λυκ
Future perfect, stem λε-λυσ
Bt. 162; Gl. 311; Gn. 717; H.A. 372.

4. The future tenses (future, future perfect) are indicated
by a σ(+ ο/ε) appended to the stem, as λύ-ω, λύ-σω, λε-λύ-σ-ο-μαι,
λύ-θή-σ-ο-μαι. Bt. 212; Gn. 662; Gl. 277; H.A. 372.

5. The perfect tenses (perfect, future perfect, pluperfect) are
indicated by (1) the doubling of the stem (i. e., repeating the
initial consonant with ε—), and (2) in the active voice by an
affixed —κ— (cf. Latin —v—). E. g., λύ-ω perf. λέ-λυ-κα (for λύ-λυ-κα).

Note 1.—If the verb begins with a middle or rough mute, the
reduplication occurs with the corresponding smooth mute (cf. I,3).
E. g., πέ-φυ-κα (for φέ-φυ-κα). Bt. 162; Gl. 287; Gn. 455; H.A. 300-3.

6. Secondary tenses are indicated generally be the prefix ἐ—, e.g.,
ἔ-λυ-ο-ν, ἐ-λε-λύ-κ-ε-μεν. In case the verb itself begins with a vowel,
the initial vowel is lengthened. E.g., ἀ-κού-ω, ἤ-κου-ο-ν. Bt. 171-2;
Gl. 264, 293; Gn. 465, 3; H.A. 354-7.

7. The theme vowel immediately follows the stem. In the indicative it
is —ο— before μ and ν, otherwise —ε—; in the subjunctive, —ω—or —η—;
in the optative (mode vowel), —οι— or —αι— (aorist passive indicative,
—ει—). E. g., ἔ-λυ-ο-ν, ἕ-λυ-ε-ς, λύ-ω-μαι, λύ-η-ται, λυ-οί-μην,
λυ-σαί-μην. Bt. 159-60; Gl. 294-5; Gn. 568, 719, 730; H.A. 372.

(1) In aorist tenses except second aorist and aorist passive, the
theme vowel is —α—.

(2) In the perfect active the them vowel is —α—, in the pluperfect
active it is —ε—.

(3) In the pluperfect middle and passive the theme vowel is omitted.
E. g., λε-λύ-σ-α-μεν, λε-λύ-κ-α-τε, ἐ-λε-λύ-κ-ε-μεν, λέ-λυ-μαι,
ἐ-λε-λύ-μην. Bt. 201, 222-4; Gl. 279, 288-9, 298; Gn. 669, 682-3, 698;
H.A. 428, 446, 459, 461-3.

8. The sign of the passive voice is often —θε—, sometimes lengthened
to —θη— in conjugation, e. g., λυ-θή-σ-ο-μαι. Bt. 231-2; Gl. 302;
Gn. 707; H.A. 468.

9. The person of the verb is indicated by a letter or syllable
(in origin a personal pronoun) added to end of verb.
E. g., λύ-ο-μαι, ἔ-λυ-ο-ν.

10. The middle and passive voices are alike except in two tenses,
the future and the aorist. Bt. 167; Gl. 263; Gn. 552; H.A. 376-80.

11. There are two sets (or double sets) of personal ending; one set
for the active (primary and secondary) tenses, and one for the tenses
of the middle and passive (except second aorist and aorist passive).
Bt. 166; Gl. 263, 271; Gn. 551-3; H.A. 375.

12. The personal ending may be shown thus:

          Primary Tenses
     Sing.   { —ω        —μαι
             { —εις      —σαι
             { —ει       —ται

     Dual    { —τον      —σθον
             { —τον      —σθην

     Plur.   { —μεν      —μεθα
             { —τε       —σθε
             { —ουσι(ν)  —νται

          Secondary Tenses

     Sing.   { —ν        —μην
             { —ς        —σο
             { — —       —το

     Dual    { —τον      —σθον
             { —την      —σθην

     Plur.   { —μεν      —μεθα
             { —τε       —σθε
             { —ν        —ντο

(1) The longer, softer endings generally indicate middle or
passive voice.

(2) In verbs as in noun the dual is less frequent in later Greek.

13. The endings of the active participle to indicate gender are
respectively —ων, —ουσα, —ον. The form —ουσα is of the first
declension; the others (—οντ, Gn. 25; Gl. 119) are of the third.

14. Middle participles are of the first and second declensions and
may be recognized by the syllable —μεν—. E. g., λυ-ό-μεν-ος.

15. The active infinitive regularly ends in —ειν —εν + theme
vowel —ε—, contracted, —ειν). E. g., λύ-ειν (for λυ-ε-εν). The
passive and middle (i.e., when used as passive) infinitives
regularly end in —σθαι. E. g., λύ-ε-σθαι, λύ-σ-α-σθαι. The aorist
passive infinitive ends in —ναι. E. g., λυ-θῆ-ναι. Bt. 167;
Gl. 162, 273, 275; Gn. 301, 334.

16. Variations from the regular forms occur in the endings of
the imperative:

                Active           Middle and Passive
     Sing.  { 2. —, aorist —ν
            {   (—θι, —ς)             —σο aorist —αι
            {     (contracts with con. vowels ιο —ον)
              3.   —τω                —σθω

     Dual   { 2.   —τον               —σθον
            { 3.   —των               —σθων

     Plur.  { 2.   —τε                —σθε
            { 3.   —ντων (or
                    τωσαν)            —σθων (or —σθωσαν)
Bt. 167; Gl. 270-2; Gn. 746; H.A. 376.

17. The principal parts of the verb (which should be memorized)
are the first person singular of the active indicative present,
future, first aorist, and perfect; the middle perfect; and the
passive aorist. Bt 162-3; Gl. 311; Gn. 462-5; H.A. 304c.

18. A small class of verbs (about equal to the number of
irregular verbs in English) retain the more primitive personal
endings (e.g., act. ind. pres. sing., —μι, —σι, —τι, remains of
old pronominal forms). Of such are τί-θη-μι, δί-δω-μι, ἴ-στη-μι.
Bt. 251-8; Gl. 372-4; Gn. 500-509; H.A. 476-92.

19. Certain verbs with vowel stems, as τιμά-ω, φιλέ-ω, δηλό-ω,
by contraction with initial vowels in the personal endings assume
forms not found in the regular verb paradigms. E. g., τιμά-εις,
τίμᾶς; ἐ-τίμα-ε, ἐτίμα; ἐ-τίμα-ο-ν, ἐ-τίμων. Bt. 248-50; Gl. 313-15;
Gn. 492-94; H.A. 337-41. For changes in accent see: Bt. 65; Gl. 29,
Gn. 117; H.A. 37-39.

(1) These forms are best studied as they occur by reference
to the grammars.


1. It is a principle in Greek, as in other languages, that a
certain relation must hold between the verbs of dependent
clauses and those of the independent clauses on which they are based.

2. In Latin the sequence is one of tenses, primary tenses depending
on primary tenses and secondary tenses on secondary tenses. But in
Greek the tenses of the dependent modes do not, in general, express
distinctions of time. G. M. T. 785, 20.

3. In Greek the subjunctive in dependent clauses is treated (usually)
as though it were a primary mode: the optative as though it were a
secondary mode. E. g.:

τοῦτο πράττει ἵνα καλῶς ἔχη
τοῦτο ἔπραττε ἵνα καλῶς ἔχοι

But in the Greek of the New Testament. (B. M. T. 174, 259, 344) and in
Latin (Hale and Buck's Latin Grammar, 459) there is not optative in use,
and the above distinction in modes no longer exits. Bt. 517, 2; Gl. 662;
Gn. 448, 1249, 1267; H.A. 876. The trend of sequence is from the primary
tenses of the indicative through subjunctive and optative in that order
to the past tenses of the indicative. See under VII.


1. A conditional sentence is one that assumes what may or may not be
true (in reality), and bases on it some other statement (i. e., the
supposition is assumed to be true). Bt. 600-1; Gl. 645; Gn. 1381;
H.A. 889.

2. A simple supposition implying nothing as to fulfillment, has the
indicative (or an equivalent; Bt. 602, notes) in both clauses.

(1) If a specific sequence is made in present time, then the present
indicative stands in both clauses. If in past time, a past indicative
occurs in both clauses. E. g.:

Present: εἰ τοῦτο πράττει, καλῶς ἔχει
Past: εἰ τοῦτο ἔπραττε, καλῶς εἶχε

Note 1.—The same tense need not necessarily stand in both clauses,
e. g., εἰ τοῦτο ἔπραττε, καλῶς ἔχει.

(2) A general reference if in present time, expressing a customary
or repeated action or a general truth, has ἐάν with the subjunctive
in the if-clause and in the conclusion the present indicative or some
form denoting present repetition, e. g., ἐὰν τοὺτο ποιῇ, καλῶς ἔχει.
If the supposition is in the past time, the if-clause will have the
optative with εἰ and in the conclusion will stand the imperfect
indicative or some form denoting past repetition, e. g., εἰ τοῦτο
πράττοι, καλῶς εἶχε. Bt. 608-10; Gl. 651; Gn. 1393; H.A. 890, 892-4.

3. The supposition may imply something as to the likelihood of

(1) If fulfillment is likely (and such contingencies are related to
future time), then the if-clause will have ἐάν with the subjunctive
and a future indicative (or an equivalent) will stand in the conclusion.
This form is styled "future vivid." E. g., ἐὰν τοῦτο πράττῃ, καλῶς ἕξοι.
If fulfillment is less than likely ("future less vivid"), εἰ with the
optative will stand in the if-clause, the optative with ἄν (potential
optative) in the conclusion. E. g., εἰ τοῦτο πράττοι καλῶς ἄν ἔχοι.
Bt. 604-5; Gl. 650-1; Gn. 1403.

(2) A supposition contrary to fact has in the if-clause εἰ with a past
indicative; in the conclusion, a past indicative with ἄν (potential
indicative). E. g., εἰ τοῦτο ἔπραττε, καλῶς ἄν εἶχε.
Bt. 606; Gl. 649; Gn. 13197; H.A. 895.

Note 1.—For summary of conditional sentences,
see Bt. 611; Gl 645; Gn. 1387; H.A. 891.


1. Pure final clauses (expressing purpose or motive) take the
subjunctive when dependent on primary tenses, the optative when
dependent on secondary tenses. The conjunction is ἵνα, ὡς, or ὅπως.
E. g.,

     τοῦτο πράττει ἵνα καλῶς ἔχῃ.
     τοῦτο ἔπραττε ἵνα καλῶς ἔχοι

Bt. 590; Gl. 640; Gn. 365; H.A. 881.

2. Object clauses dependent on verbs denoting care, attention or
effort, regularly take the future indicative ὅπως, though the future
optative is possible when dependent on a secondary tense.
E. g.,

     φροντίζει ὅπως καλῶς ἕξει,
     ἐφρόντιζεν ὅπας καλῶς ἕζει
     (or ἕζοι, see note).

Bt. 593; Gn. 1372; H.A. 885.

3. Subordinate clauses introduced by μή (trans. lest or that),
and dependent on verbs denoting fear, caution or danger, take the
subjunctive when dependent on primary tenses, the optative when
dependent on secondary tenses.
E. g.,

     φοβεῖται μὴ τοῦτο πράττωμεν
     ἐφοβεῖτο μὴ τοῦτο πράττοιμεν
     (or πράττωμεν, see note).

Bt. 593; Gl. 610; Gn. 1378.

Note 1.—In rules 1-3, for greater vividness—as though using the
language of the person who conceived the purpose—the subjunctive
may be used even when dependent on a secondary tense (see examples
above). Gl. 638; Gn. 1372.


1. A statement or question of a speaker or writer may be quoted
directly, i. e., without change in the form of the language.
E. g.:

Direct:   τοῦτο πράξω
Indirect:   λέγει      {
             or        { ὅτι τοῦτο πράξει.
            ἔλεγε      {

Bt. 668; Gl. 623; Gn. 1475.

2. Or it may be a change to adapt it to the form of the sentence of
which it becomes a part. The form of change will depend on the introductory
verb of saying, φημί, λέγω, or εἶπον.

(1) If φημί, the main verb of the quotation will be changed to the infinitive
mode of the same tense and voice. E. g.,

Direct:   τοῦτο πράττω
Indirect:   φησί        {
             or         { τούτο πράττειν.
            ἔφη         {

(2) If λέγω with ὅτι or ὡς, no change will occur when dependent on a
primary tense. When dependent on a secondary tense, indicatives and
subjunctives may (not must) be changed to corresponding tenses (and
voice) of the optative; optatives will remain unchanged.
E. g.:

     Direct:       τοῦτο πράξω
     Indirect:   { λέγει ὅτι τοῦτο πράξει
                 { ἔλεγε ὅτι τοῦτο πράξει (or πράξοι).

(1) Note the change in person to indicate the change of speaker.

(2) εἶπον as a verb of saying requires, and λέγω in the active voice
prefers the ὅτι (ὡς) construction.

(3) Where changes of mode might occasion doubt as to the form of the
original direct discourse, no changes are made. E. g., the imperfect
or pluperfect indicative with ἄν, the potential optative with ἄν, or
the aorist indicative in a subordinate clause (cf. Bt. 675). Bt. 678;
Gl. 624; Gn. 1523; 1481, 1497.

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