Moods and tenses are different concepts in English grammar that are widely confused. In this lesson, we will learn all about moods in English grammar.

"Moods" in the English Grammar

What Do We Mean by Moods?

'Mood' (also known as modality) is used to describe a special state or form of the verb. They are actually used to express the particular characteristic of the verb to clarify its purpose in the sentence.

Based on whether verbs express facts, commands, questions, surprises, possibilities, wish, or conditions, they are categorized into various groups.

Imperative Mood

'The imperative mood' is used to give orders, commands, or instructions. This mood is made of main verbs in the imperative form. An imperative verb is actually the bare infinitive (infinitive without 'to') that is used at the beginning of a sentence.
Based on whether the command is to do or not to do the action, they are categorized into two groups.

  1. Affirmative imperative
  2. Negative imperative

To make a negative command the auxiliary 'do' is followed by the term 'not' before the bare infinitive.

Don't talk to me!

Repeat after me!

'The imperative mood' does not usually consist of a subject at the beginning, but the subject is always the pronoun 'you' that can be hidden or not.

(You) slow down!

(You) submit your homework, now!

Declarative Mood

'The declarative mood' is used to give information about something. It is easy to comprehend declarative mood because it usually starts with a subject and continues with a verb, but sometimes it can have other word orders as well.
There are two kinds of declarative moods in English:

  1. Affirmative declarative mood
  2. Negative declarative mood

She lives in Torino.

Simon doesn't eat sea food.

Interrogative Mood

'The interrogative mood' is used to ask questions. There are two kinds of interrogative questions. One is used to ask yes/no questions and one uses interrogative words to ask wh-questions.

Obviously, a question mark is used at the end of the interrogative sentences.

Are you coming?

What is your name?

a sentence in the declarative mood

Exclamatory Mood

'The exclamatory mood' describes a strong emotion toward something. Any verb can be used to make an exclamatory mood, so, the only way to identify exclamatory mood is to take a look at the end of the sentence and find the exclamation mark.

She actually has lost the keys!

You were meant to be here on the best day of my life!

Subjunctive Mood

'The subjunctive mood' is used to describe an unreal situation, unlike the declarative mood. Usually, the subjunctive mood describes wishes, opinions, obligations, emotions, etc. The key point is that subjunctive mood is used to refer to an event that has not been occurred yet.

I wish I could buy another house.

In this example, the speaker is talking about something that they cannot afford yet.

She doubts whether I pay the bills or not.

In this example, we are talking about an even that has not took place yet.

The subjunctive mood is mostly used in:

I suggest that he cook for us.

Here, the main verb stays the same as a bare infinitive even for a third person singular pronoun.

Lee would cry if she knew the truth.

Conditional Mood

'The conditional mood' in English indicates that the validity of an event depends on another condition. There are five types of conditional moods in English that each expresses a particular condition.

If you were me, you would kill him.

If you boil the egg, it gets solid over a short time.

Here are the conditional moods:

Zero conditional

'Zero conditional mood' refers to an event that almost always happens under a particular circumstance. Here are the examples:

If you boil eggs, they get solid in a short time.

He cries if you hurt him.

First Conditional

'First conditional mood' refers to a future event that is going to happen if the conditional occasion comes true. The if clause expresses the condition, so it is called the conditional clause.
Check out the examples:

I will pick up John if you are busy.

If you take it easy, it will get easier to find solutions.

Second Conditional

'Second conditional' mood refers to a hypothetical situation that would happen in the future or present if the conditional occasion came true in the past. But at the moment of talking, we know that it will not happen.

If I were you, I would tell the truth to my boss.

I would do anything for her if she just chose me over him.

Third Conditional

'Third conditional' refers to imaginary situations and events that would come true under some special circumstances in the past. Here are the examples.

If I had watched the movie, we would have been able to talk over something mutual.

She would have called me if you hadn't lied to her.

Mixed Conditional

'Mixed conditional' is a mixture of the third and the second conditional moods. One of the two clauses in this structure refers to a past time. Here are the examples:

If I hadn't been married to Sam, I wouldn't be this happy now.

We would be drinking on the beach if we hadn't had the annoying boss.


The state or form of a particular verb is described by a mood. There are six different moods in English as follows.

  • imperative mood
  • declarative (indicative) mood
  • interrogative mood
  • exclamatory mood
  • subjunctive mood
  • conditional mood


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Declarative Mood

There are different types of moods in English. Each shows a special manner toward the subject. In this article, we will focus on the declarative mood.

Imperative Mood

If you're wondering what the word 'imperative' means, in grammar, imperatives are verbs that are used to tell somebody what to do or not to do.

Subjunctive Mood

Subjunctive is a form or mood of verbs that helps us talk about wishes, possibility or uncertainty. To learn about this mood, start reading this article.

Interrogative Mood

Interrogative mood is a form of verb that is used to ask questions. Now if you want to learn how to make questions correctly, read this article.

Exclamatory Mood

There are six moods in English grammar. In this article, we will focus on the exclamatory mood. Exclamatives are moods of feelings.

Conditional Mood

Have you ever thought about something that might have happened if there was a different situation in the past? Conditionals help us talk about possibilities.

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