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τί (οὖν) οὐ with aorist indicative in interrogative main clause: polite proposal


τί οὖν οὐ κατεκλίνης, ὦ Μύρριον;

‘Why do you not lie beside me, dear?’ (Aristoph. Lys. 906)

An interrogative main clause in the aorist indicative, introduced by τί (οὖν) οὐ, signals astonishment that something has not yet been done, and implies a proposal to do it.

Syntactic usage

The present or future indicative is also possible, but in that case the suggestion is less urgent.

Example Sentences: 

τί οὖν οὐχὶ καὶ σὺ ὑπέμνησάς με;

Why don't you remind me too? [provisional translation]

τί οὖν οὐ διηγήσω ἡμῖν τὴν συνουσίαν;

Why don't you tell us about the meeting? [provisional translation]

τί οὖν, ἔφην ἐγώ, οὐ καὶ Πρόδικον καὶ Ἱππίαν ἐκαλέσαμεν καὶ τοὺς μετ’ αὐτῶν, ἵνα ἐπακούσωσιν ἡμῶν;

Why, I said, "don't we call Prodikos and Hippias and their company to hear us?" [provisional translation]

ἀλλὰ τί οὐκ ἐπέδειξάς μοι τὸν νεανίαν καλέσας δεῦρο;

Why do you not call the young man here to show him to me? ֍