Indicative, Imperative And Subjunctive Mood

The simplest use of a verb is to make a statement of fact or ask a question.

  • I like classical music.
  • Do you like classical music?

A verb may also be used to express a command; as in,

  • Come at once.
  • Write neatly.

Sometimes we use a verb to express a mere supposition; as in,

  • If I were you, I wouldn’t do it.

These different modes or manners in which a verb may be used are called moods. There are three moods in English – indicative, imperative, and subjunctive.

The indicative mood is used to make a statement of fact or to ask a question; as in,

  • I go to bed at 10 pm.
  • How are you?

The imperative mood is used to express a command or request.

  • Come here.
  • Try to do better.
  • Have mercy on us.

The subject of a verb in the imperative mood (which is always you) is usually omitted. The imperative mood can strictly be used only with the second person (you). With first and third persons, we use let to make a similar sense.

  • Let me go.
  • Let us go.
  • Let him go.

The subjunctive mood scarcely exists in modern English. It occurs in certain traditional phrases, where it expresses a wish or hope.

  • God bless you!
  • God save the King!

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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