Verbs in Indicative, Imperative, Interrogative, Conditional & Subjunctive Moods

Verbs in Indicative, Imperative, Interrogative, Conditional & Subjunctive Moods
Coming up next: Verb Tense & Subject-Verb Agreement

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:18 Indicative
  • 0:57 Imperative
  • 1:46 Interrogative
  • 2:21 Conditional
  • 3:01 Subjunctive
  • 4:09 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kara Wilson

Kara Wilson is a 6th-12th grade English and Drama teacher. She has a B.A. in Literature and an M.Ed, both of which she earned from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Every sentence communicates a mood. If someone is ordering you to do something, he or she is using an imperative sentence. Find out how to identify and use indicative, imperative, interrogative, conditional and subjunctive moods in this lesson.

Verb Moods

In the English language, we have different verb tenses to demonstrate time, and we have verb moods that indicate a state of being or reality. These moods are: indicative, imperative, interrogative, conditional and subjunctive.

Indicative

Indicative indicates a state of factuality or states something that is happening in reality. Most sentences in English are written in the indicative mood. For example, the sentence - The dog jumps into the car - simply states what is really happening in the present moment.

The indicative mood can also be used in sentences that include words like 'might' or 'may' because it indicates something that is a real possibility:

That house might collapse if they don't make the necessary repairs.

The fact that the house could actually fall down if it isn't fixed is indicative of reality, so we would say this sentence is written in the indicative mood.

Imperative

Imperative is a command. A way of remembering this is to think of your parents saying, 'It is imperative that you do your chores.' This is not a suggestion, a statement about what is going on, or a question. It is a direct command, telling you what to do.

Most people know someone who is pretty bossy and demanding. He or she might say imperative sentences all the time, like:

Sit over here.

Give me that cookie.

Notice how in both examples, the word 'you,' which is the subject, is not stated. It is only implied. This is often the case with imperative sentences.

Sometimes imperative sentences can be more like a desperate plea to do something, such as the sentence:

Help me!

It is still giving a command, but it is meant as an earnest request, not a bossy demand.

Interrogative

Interrogative asks a question. A great way to remember the term 'interrogative' is to think of an interrogation room where a suspect is asked a series of questions.

The sentence - Will you please leave me alone? - is an example of an interrogative sentence because it asks a question rather than demands it. If the sentence were revised to say - Leave me alone. - that would be a command, or an imperative sentence. But by asking someone to leave you alone, you are creating an interrogative sentence that is a request.

Conditional

Conditional depends on something else to happen under certain conditions. A way to remember this is to think of the phrase 'If this, then that.' The conditional often uses words like might, could, and would.

The baby might cry if you pick him up.

This sentence shows what could happen under the condition of picking up the baby, so it's an example of the conditional mood.

Another example is:

He would look older with a beard.

This shows that the man looking older depends on whether or not he has a beard, so under that specific condition, he would appear to have aged.

Subjunctive

Subjunctive is a wish or hypothetical and is contrary to reality. An easy way to recall the definition for subjunctive is to think: What if? The subjunctive mood is uncertain and may never happen, unlike the conditional mood. The subjunctive is rarely used compared to the other moods we've discussed, but it's still important to be able to identify, use and understand.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support