Mood in English Grammar| Examples and Types

What is mood ?

The word “Mood” is derived from a Latin word “Modus” which means “manner”. Thus in English grammar mood is the manner in which the action denotes by the verb is represented. There are four moods in English. These are:

i. Indicative mood.
ii. Imperative mood.
iii. Subjunctive mood.
iv. Infinitive mood.

Let us know them one by one:

Indicative mood:-When the verb states a fact or asks a question, it is said to be in Indicative mood.

Examples:

  • Rahil made a 100 runs. (fact)
  • He writes legibly. (fact)
  • Napoleon died at St. Helena. (fact)
  • A 100 runs were made by Rahil. (fact in passive voice).
  • How many runs did Rahil made? (question)
  • Are you going there? (question)
  • Who wrote that letter? (question)

The underlined verbs in above sentences are said to be the indicative mood.

Note:- The Indicative mood is also used in expressing supposition. Which is assumed as a fact?

Examples:

  • If it rains, I shall stay at home. (Assuming as a fact that it will rain).
  • If my friend wants it, I shall give it to him. (Assuming as a fact that my friend wants it).

Thus, a verb which makes a statement of fact or asks a question or asks a supposition which is assumed as a fact, is in the Indicative mood.

Imperative mood: A verb which expresses a command, an exhortation, an entreaty or prayer is said to be in the Imperative mood.

Examples:
As a command.
a. Open the window.
b. Wait here.
c. Write neatly.

As an exhortation.
a. Take care of your health.
b. Try to do better.
c. Honour your state.

As an entreaty.
a. Have pity upon us.
b. Excuse me.
c. Give us this day our daily breath.

Note: The subject (you) of a verb in the Imperative mood is usually not expressed but understood.

Remember: The Imperative mood in the first and third persons is expressed by the use of the auxiliary verb ‘let’ as;
• Let me go.
• Let us go.
• Let him go.
• Let them go.

Subjunctive mood: When the verb expresses a mare supposition, or a wish or doubt of any kind etc. it is said to be in Subjunctive mood.

Examples:
a. Perhaps a letter may come tomorrow. (doubt)
b. If I were you, I should now do that. (but I am not you and never can be)
c. God bless you! (Wish).
d. Heaven helps us.

Infinitive mood: When the verb merely names an action without mentioning any subject, it is said to be an Infinitive mood.

Examples:

  1. To play games is pleasant.
  2. To find fault is easy.
  3. To respect our parents is our duty.
  4. They refused to obey the teacher.

From the above examples it will be noticed that the Infinitive mood is partly noun and partly verb. Noun because it is the name of an act, and like a noun it can used a subject (1,2,3) or object (4) of a verb. Verb because, like a verb it can take an object.

Infinitive is sometimes found without “to” before it.

  • I made him wait.
  • I saw him go.
  • I made him work.
  • We heard you sing.

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