What are English Verb Moods? Definition, Examples of Indicative, Imperative, and Subjunctive Moods

Mood English definition: English moods refer to a grammatical emotion that conveys the speaker’s attitude toward what is written.

What is Mood? Types of Mood in English Grammar

What are the English moods? There are three main moods in English that show how a speaker feels about a speaker feels about the topic discussed in the sentence.

The mood is expressed through the verb.

What is a imperative sentence The three foremost English moods include:

  • Indicative
    • Indicates facts or beliefs
  • Imperative
    • Commands or requests
  • Subjunctive
    • Indicates something hypothetical

Examples of Mood: Indicative, Imperative, and Subjunctive

Here, we will summarize the three main English moods and gives examples sentences for each one.

What is the Indicative Mood?

What does imperative mean Indicative mood definition: The indicative mood express facts or beliefs. Statements in the indicative mood may be positive or negative.

Indicative mood uses the simple, progressive, and perfect tenses.

Indicative Mood Examples:

  • It snowed yesterday (simple past)
  • It is snowing. (progressive)
  • It is not snowing. (progressive)
  • It has snowed (perfect).

Outside Example:

  • Team USA won 106-57 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, just covering the minus-48.5 point spread from Vegas. –CBS Sports (simple past)

In all of these indicative sentences, the author is expressing facts.

What is the Imperative Mood?

What does indicative mean Imperative mood definition: The imperative mood expresses commands or requests. The speaker wants the action to take place. Statements in the imperative mood may be positive or negative.

Imperative sentences oftentimes have an implied subject (you).

  • (You) Stop yelling!

Imperative mood uses the infinitive form of the verb without the “to.” The verbs are underlined in the following examples.

Imperative Mood Examples:

  • Let’s go out to dinner tonight. (request)
  • Finish your homework. (command)
  • Do not reply to this message. (command)
  • Remember to take out the trash (command).

The last three imperative sentence examples have an implied subject of “you.”

What is the Subjunctive Mood?

Subjunctive vs. indicative vs. subjunctive Subjunctive mood definition: The subjunctive mood expresses something hypothetical. Statements in the subjunctive mood have not happened. Statements in the subjunctive mood may be positive or negative.

The subjunctive mood might express wishes, desires, or suggestions, for instance.

Subjunctive Mood Examples:

  • I wish I were rich. (wish)
  • If you were to use your other camera, I bet you could take a better picture. (suggestion)
  • I hoped it would not rain today. (desire)

The subjunctive is usually used with clauses beginning with “if” or “I wish.”

Verbs that often use the subjunctive:

  • wish
    • I wish you were here today.
  • hope
    • I hope you were thinking of me.
  • suggest
    • I suggest you arrive on time.
  • recommend
    • I recommend that he be at the meeting.

The subjunctive is perhaps the “trickiest” mood of all. It does not have a set formula to follow. Additionally, using it can sound strange, even though the grammar is correct.

The subjunctive for most verbs looks like the indicative mood except for third person singular (he/she/it). Third person singular drops the “-s” or “-es” ending to look like other verbs.


  • He attends the meeting. (indicative)
  • I suggest he attend the meeting. (subjunctive)

The verb “to be” for all subjunctive uses is “be” in present subjunctive and “were” in past subjunctive.


  • I suggest you be home on time. (present)
  • I wish you were home on time. (past)
  • After the game, Chapman even acknowledged the possibility of re-signing with the Yankees this winter if he were traded away from the club in the coming days. –The New York Times (past)

Summary: What are the English Moods?

What is an imperative sentence Define mood: the definition of mood is the characteristic of a verb’s form that show the speaker’s attitude, and expresses whether the action or state it denotes is fact, command, possibility, or wish.

Define indicative mood: the definition of indicative mood is the mood used to describe facts

Define imperative mood: the definition of indicative mood is the mood used to express a command.

Define subjunctive mood: the definition of subjunctive mood is the mood used to express an a hypothetical or unreal state or action.

In summary,

English moods include the infinitive (fact), imperative (demand/request), and subjunctive (hypothetical) moods.

English moods are determined through the speaker’s attitude conveyed through the verb.