οὐ μή with future indicative in interrogative main clause: strong prohibition

The future indicative (second person) in an interrogative main clause, preceded by οὐ μή, signals a prohibition.

Translation tips

Although the usual translation involves the imperative mood, an English interrogative clause can also have imperative or prohibitive force: Will you be quiet?

Syntactic behaviour

Rarely an aorist subjunctive is used. Many editors replace this tense with a future indicative.
Most grammarians regard these sentences as interrogative sentences, although of course there is no evidence for this from the manuscripts. The ancients did not write question marks. This is why Goodwin chooses not to use a question mark.
After a prohibition with οὐ μή and a fut. ind. a commanding fut. ind. may follow, connected to the prohibition by ἀλλά or δέ.

Frequential information

This construction is typical for dramatic writers;

Example Sentences: 


οὐ μὴ ’ξεγερεῖς τὸν ὕπνῳ κάτοχον | κἀκκινήσεις κἀναστήσεις | φοιτάδα δεινὴν | νόσον, ὦ τέκνον

Do not wake him out of his deep sleep, and do not stir up or revive his terrible, pulsing disease, my child.



οὐ μὴ φρενώσεις μ’, ἀλλὰ δέσμιος φυγὼν σῴσῃ τόδ’;

Do not instruct me, but cherish this, now that you have escaped from prison.