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Subjunctive in main clause: hortation in the first person


φέρε οὖν ἀναβαλώμεθα τὸν γάμον εἰς τὸ μετόπωρον

‘Let us postpone the wedding to the autumn.’ (Longus 4.18)

The subjunctive in the main clause signals a command or prohibition in the first person, usually in the plural.

Translation tips

The translation usually contains let us....

Syntactic usage

The subjunctive is used instead of the imperative, which lacks a first person. Both the present and the aorist stem occur.

Introductory words

The hortatory subjunctive is sometimes preceded by another command or ἄγε, ἄγετε, δεῦρο, δεῦτε, ἔα, εἰ δ᾽ ἄγε, ἴθι or φέρε (sometimes with (δή)

Example Sentences: 

ἐπίσχες, ἐμβάλωμεν εἰς ἄλλον λόγον

Shut up! Let's change the subject. [provisional translation]

φέρε δὴ καὶ μαρτυρίαν παράσχωμαι ὑμῖν δι’ ἀπορρήτου μὲν γεγενημένην

Let me also give you a piece of evidence that I have acquired in secret. ֍

μυηθῶμεν οὖν, ὦ φίλτατε, τὰ τῆς Ἀφροδίτης μυστήρια.

My love, let us be initiated in the mysteries of Aphrodites. ֍

φεύγωμεν ἄνθος ὃ μηδὲ Ἀφροδίτης φείδεται.

Let us avoid a flower which even Aphrodites does not spare. ֍

φέρε δὴ κατίδω ποῖ τοὺς λίθους ἀφέλξομεν

Come on, let's see, how shall we remove these stones? ֍