We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are Verb Moods?

By Michael Smathers
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Language & Humanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Language & Humanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In the English language, there are four types of verb moods. The mood of a verb indicates the way it is used in a sentence, and because verbs are words of action, the mood of a verb can affect the meaning of the entire sentence, as well as its grammatical construction. The four verb moods in the English language are the subjunctive mood, the indicative mood, the infinitive mood and the imperative mood. Each of these moods has a different purpose and meaning.

The subjunctive mood of a verb is used when the verb expresses a hypothetical action or another circumstance that is presently untrue. Frequently, helping verbs indicate a subjunctive mood, and this verb mood determines whether "was" or "were" should precede the verb. For example, in the sentence, "If I were a rich man, I'd buy a house in London town," the word "were" is correct in the subjunctive mood. "Would," "could" and "should" also indicate the subjunctive mood.

The second of the verb moods is the indicative mood, which represents a positive or definite condition. It is opposite of the subjunctive mood. The indicative mood of a verb can exist as a question as well as a statement. An example of a question with an indicative verb is, "Who has taken out the garbage today?" The verb can be of any tense, as long as it describes an actual occurrence or event.

Third is the infinitive mood. This is the verb in its basic form without any conjugations to link it to a subject. English verbs in the infinitive are in the present perfect form preceded by the word "to." In some instances, the infinitive verb phrase can be used as a verb object. For example, in the sentence, "I want to ride my bicycle," the verb phrase "to ride," is the object of "I want."

The last of the four verb moods is the imperative mood. This is used when the speaker wants to make a direct request or command, and is in the present or future tense. The sentences "Take those books back to the library," or "You will report to the office at ten o'clock" are examples that make use of the imperative verb mood.

Understanding the proper use of these four verb moods aids English speakers in choosing the correct sentence syntax and structure. Each verb mood is commonly associated with a tense and a function. Using the incorrect mood of a verb can make the sentence sound awkward.

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.