Moods in English
Read the sentences given below:
1. Samuel likes detective stories.
2. When are you going to get a job?
3. Go at once.
4. If I were you, I would not let him go.
As you can see, sentence 1 merely expresses a fact. Sentence 2 asks a question. Sentence 3 is a command. Sentence 4 makes a supposition. We find that verbs can be used in different ways – to state facts, to give commands, to ask questions and so on. The manner in which a verb is used is called its mood.
There are three moods in English – indicative mood, imperative mood and subjunctive mood.
The indicative mood
Study the examples given below.
The masons are building the house.
Churchill was a great statesman.
India is the biggest democracy in the world.
If it rains, we will cancel the picnic.
I have applied for that job.
As you can see all of these sentences are statements of facts.
Now look at the sentences given below.
When does the train leave?
What do you want?
Where does he stay?
How will they cope with their loss?
Who will take care of the child?
These are all plain questions.
When a verb is used to state a fact or to ask a question it is said to be in the indicative mood.