Glossary of Linguistic Terms

Optative Mood


Optative mood is a volitive mood that signals wishing or hoping.


(Classical Greek)

Here is an example of optative mood (diacritical markings are not reproduced here):

ei gar genoime:n teknon anti sou nekros
oh that become.1SINGULAR.AORIST.OPTATIVE son instead-of thou corpse
‘O that I might be a corpse, my child, instead of you!’


(Euripides, Hypolytus 1410 cited by Palmer 1986 117 )