The word mood is derived from the Latin word modus which means mode or manner. Thus mood means the manner in which the action specified by the verb takes place.
There are mainly three moods in English
- The indicative mood
- The imperative mood
- The subjunctive mood
The indicative mood
The indicative mood is used to make a simple statement or to ask a question.
- She is my sister.
- She is an architect.
- Where are you going?
- What is this?
The indicative mood can also be used to express a condition.
- If you ask me more politely, I will help you.
- She will come if you invite her.
The imperative mood
The imperative mood is used to express a command, a request or advice. Note that when the verb is in the imperative mood, the subject is not mentioned.
- Go away.
- Go at once.
- Please help me.
- Kindly excuse me.
- Work hard.
- Come here.
The subjunctive mood
The subjunctive mood is used to express an impossible supposition or an ardent desire.
- If I were you, I would not act in this manner.
- O that he were here! (Here we use the subjunctive mood to express an ardent desire.)
The subjunctive mood may also express a wish. Examples are given below.
- Long Live Revolution!
- May you thrive!
The subjunctive mood can be used in the subordinate clause of a conditional sentence.
- If wishes were horses, beggars would ride them.
The subjunctive mood may also appear in a noun clause following a verb expressing a wish, suggestion or recommendation.
- The jury recommended that the convict be released at once.
When the verb is in the subjunctive mood, ‘be’ is used in the present tense and ‘were’ in the past tense.