Mood and Modality

In addition to time reference, verbs and verb phrases can also express modality:

• certainty

Ο Nίκος κοιμάται αργά κάθε βράδυ.

• willingness • wish

Η Αγκάθα θέλει να ταξιδέψει σε όλο τον κόσμο

• necessity

Ο Λάκης πρέπει να αδυνατίσει

• possibility/ probability

Ο Σαχίνης δεν είναι εδώ αυτή τη στιγμή αλλά μπορεί να γυρίσει/μάλλον θα γυρίσει σύντομα

• counter factuality

Η Κλειώ δε θα παντρευόταν ποτέ τον Σαχίνη

Τhese modalities can be expressed either by grammatically distinct verb forms (mood) or by modal expressions (πρέπει, μπορεί, ίσως etc.). Greek has three formally distinct moods: indicative (Οριστική), subjunctive (Υποτακτική), imperative (Προστακτική). The opposition between the forms of indicative (cf. tenses) and those of imperative is indicated mainly by the difference in endings. Subjunctives on the other hand are periphrastic, i.e. the verb is preceded by particles (usually να, ας).

You can also read: Personal Pronouns Weak form

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