Mood is a form of a verb that indicates the attitude of a speaker or writer. Verbs have three moods that express:

  1. simple statement of a fact (indicative mood),
  2. command (imperative mood), or
  3. imagination or wish (subjunctive mood).

Indicative mood

The indicative mood of a verb is the most frequently used simple statements of fact and in questions.

  • The meal is delicious.
  • She drives to work every working day.
  • Have you done your homework?
  • Do you believe in Ghost?

Imperative mood

The imperative mood of a verb is used to express a command or give an order. When written, the imperative is accompanied by an exclamation mark (!) at the end of the sentence or word. The subject of imperative statements is understood to be the second person. It therefore uses the second-person verb.

  • Wait here!
  • Pay attention!
  • Leave me alone!

The imperative may also be used to express an instruction without the use of the exclamation point to signify it's less emphatic.

  • Get it done by today.
  • Close the door behind you.
  • Put it over there.

Subjunctive mood

The subjunctive mood of a verb expresses what is imagined, wished, possible or not necessarily real or true. The subjunctive form uses the past tense of the verb be which is were, not was. Remember that in using the subjunctive, were is used for all persons.

  • I wish I were an astronaut.
  • You behaved as though you were the only one with that ability.
  • Would she go supposing she were invited?

We use the subjunctive mood when making hypothetical statements beginning with if.

  • If he were alive, he wouldn't be happy with what you are doing.
  • If I were you, I wouldn't do a stupid thing like that.
  • If she worked hard, she could go to university.