What are Verb Moods in English Grammar – Definition, Types, & Examples


Verb moods in English Grammar are explained along with the definition, types, rules, a lot of examples to clear the basic concept.

Let’s explore verb mood!

Verb Moods in English Grammar

The moods are definitely one of those grammatical elements in the English language, which is not so frequently used. But if you wish to improve your English level, understanding the concept of mood or mode (as it is also called) is very important.

  • So what exactly is the mood in English?
  • What is the use of mood?

Let’s get into the basics along with definitions and examples!

Verb Mood Basics 

Take few examples to understand the verb mood,

  • The maximum height of Mount Everest is 8,8,48 meters.
  • What is your name?
  • Shut down the computer!
  • And so on!

From the above sentences, we observe that sentences can be a different perspective.

It can be,

  • Describing a fact
  • Asking questions
  • Command or order

Now, these all are basically the manners and mood is introduced to specify the manner of verbs in a sentence.

What is Verb Mood?

The mood in English grammar is defined as the manner of a verb and it is easily determined whether a verb expresses a fact or some questions or order/command etc.

moods in English-grammar definition types examples basics
Moods in English-grammar definition types examples basics
  • Usually, they refer to a form of verb or a category of verb that often gives us some information or a fact or order and also sometimes a condition, wishes, or possibility.
  • Just like the English word “Mood”, the different moods of the English language, helps us describe the different state of the verb.

Verb Mood Examples

For example,

  • A.P.J Kalam was a great person.

Here, this sentence simply tells about a fact. So, it implies verb mood. But what kind of mood it is?

By this form or the category, they can be divided into four types. In this post, we will be discussing the mood in detail, along with examples.

So, let’s take a look at them.

Types of Mood in the English 

Knowing them is essential to use them in appropriate situations and express yourself better. Verb moods are four types and these are,

  • the indicative mood,
  • the imperative mood,
  • the interrogative mood, and
  • the subjunctive mood.
types of moods in English grammar
Types of moods in English grammar

Let’s get into the basic details of individual mood.

Indicative Mood

What is Indicative Mood?

First up, we have the indicative mood that gives us some facts said about the subject.

  • It’s very common, and we often use this mood while writing some story or description.
  • This can be very helpful for giving out a statement or asking for some information from someone else.

Let’s look at some examples to understand them better.

Examples of Indicative Mood

  • Led Zeppelin was the greatest rock band ever.
  • What are you doing at this time of the night?
  • I am joining office from next Friday.
  • They will join us tomorrow.
  • She liked the dress as soon as she saw it.
  • They are going to the hospital tomorrow to see him.

Imperative Mood

What is Imperative Mood?

Just like the imperative sentence, the imperative mood also is used to give commands or instructions. But while using them, you need to be very careful.

  • If you are writing an affirmative sentence using the imperative mood, you will have to use the verb’s infinitive form.
  • But on the other hand, if you are writing a negative sentence using the imperative mood, you will have to use infinitive along with do + not.
  • Most of the time, these sentences will be devoid of any subject, and thus, you can only use them to give suggestions, order, encouragement, or even instructions.

Examples of Imperative Mood

  • Take the bus from there, and you will reach your destination.
  • Just have some patience and see what happens.
  • Be absolutely quiet!
  • Don’t forget to take your umbrella along with you.
  • Enjoy your vacation!

Interrogative Mood

What is Interrogative Mood?

Just like the name suggests, this mood is used to interrogate or ask questions. To form a sentence using the interrogative mood, you will have to use an auxiliary verb along with the principal verb.

In most cases, the auxiliary verb will be placed before the subject.

Examples of Interrogative Mood

  • Are you going to the party tonight?
  • Why are you wearing that dress today?
  • What’s wrong with you?
  • When is she coming tomorrow?
  • Where are they staying nowadays?
  • Have you already called them for reservations?
  • Did you ask him for some extra sugar?

Check a NICE VIDEO from Learn English

Subjunctive Mood

What is Subjunctive Mood?

Lastly, we have the subjunctive mood that allows us to express a wish or even a possibility. Compared to other languages originating from Latin, like French or Italian, the use of subjunctive mood in English is somewhat limited.

  • For French and Italian, the subjunctive mood plays a significant role.
  • In English, however, the use is sporadic these days and is only limited to formal writing. So, if you wish to improve your formal writing, you need to have a clear grasp of the subjunctive mood.

Basic Rules

  • Apart from “to be”, all the subjunctive form of verbs is actually constructed from the 3rd person singular, omitting the “- s or – es” endings. The thing worth noting here is that the verb forms never change, regardless of the context, i.e., present or past.
  • So, what’s so different with “to be”? Well, for “to be”, we are supposed to use just “be”, but in certain scenarios, based on the context and construction, “were” is also used along with “if”.

Subjunctive Mood Examples

Some of the most common verbs related to the subjunctive form are,

  • Suggest
  • Demand
  • Insist
  • Ask
  • Recommend
  • Wish

If you pay attention, you will understand that most of these verbs are often used in written English.

Let’s look at a few examples:

  • It was suggested that he meet them right outside the village early morning.
  • They demanded that the company increase their pay-roll as it has earned a lot of profit in the last quarter.
  • They requested that he marry her as early as possible despite the current turmoil.

Based on the subjunctive form, the verb forms change and seem different from the indicative forms. But this actually the correct usage of the verbs!

Let’s look at some other examples of the subjunctive mood.

  • If you wish to change this dress, I will pay for it.
  • If I were you, I would never marry under any circumstance.
  • If they were in a communist regime, they could not commit this crime.
  • If they had taken precautions earlier, they would not have been affected.

Final Words on Verb Moods

So, there you go, the detailed discussion of the different verb moods present in the English language. Learning about the moods in the English language is very important since it will improve your writing skills, avoid common errors in English grammar and make you more adept at using the different grammatical elements.

  • So, the more you will study and read the English language, the better you would become at understanding the different moods.
  • So, whenever you read something, try to identify the verb moods and refer to the definition you have learned here.

Should you have any further queries about the topic, feel free to mention them in the comments below.

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