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557. Of the subjunctive mode

Subjunctive Mode.

Of the subjunctive mode (as was pointed out above) only fragments are left in the later or classical language: namely, in the so-called first persons imperative, and in the use (579) of the imperfect and aorist persons without augment after mā́ prohibitive. In the oldest period, however, it was a very frequent formation, being three or four times as common as the optative in the Rig-Veda, and nearly the same in the Atharvan; but already in the Brāhmaṇas it becomes comparatively rare. Its varieties of form are considerable, and sometimes perplexing.