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Moods of the Verb Verb moods are classifications that indicate the attitude of the speaker.

Verbs have three moods—the indicative, the imperative, and the subjunctive.

The indicative and imperative The indicative and the imperative moods are easy to understand. You use the indicative mood in most statements and questions. * He walks every day after lunch. * Does he believe in the good effects of exercise? You use the imperative in requests and commands. Imperative statements have an understood subject of you and therefore take second-person verbs. * Sit down. ([ You] sit down.) * Please take a number. ([ You] please take a number.) The subjunctive The tenses of the subjunctive mood are formed differently from the indicative tenses, and the subjunctive is used in special kinds of statements. Today, the most common use of the subjunctive mood is in contrary-to-fact or hypothetical statements. In your own writing, you must decide which statements should be in the subjunctive. If something is likely to happen, use the indicative. If something is purely hypothetical, or contrary to fact, use the subjunctive. * Present tense subjunctive o If I were king, you would be queen. (In the subjunctive, were is used for all persons.)

These contrary-to-fact statements have two clauses: the if clause and the consequences clause. Other verbs: had worked If I had worked. Table 1 shows how it is formed. If he had worked. If he worked. * Past tense subjunctive o If I had been king. he could have earned high wages.o If he worked. Note that the subjunctive present tense is the same as the indicative past tense. TABLE 2 Past subjunctive Verb to be: had been If I had been king. you would have been queen. Note in Table 2 how the subjunctive past tense is the same as the indicative past perfect tense. If he were king. . o If he had worked. TABLE 1 Present subjunctive Verb to be: were If I were king. The forms of the verbs in these clauses are different from those of verbs used in the indicative mood. Other verbs: worked If I worked. use the subjunctive. In the if clause. he could earn high wages. If he had been king.

Not all clauses beginning with if are contrary to fact. When an if clause indicates something that is likely to happen. * If his fever continues to fall. TABLE 4 Past conditional could. use the conditional (Table 3 and 4 ). he will recover.In the consequences clause. would + have You would have been queen. He could earn high wages. I will pass the test. . * If I study hard. would + base form of verb You would be queen. TABLE 3 Present conditional could. + past participle of verb He could have earned high wages. use the indicative not the subjunctive. which is formed with could or would.