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Transcript of Moody Verbs
Imperative Verb Mood
Imperative verb moods give a command (like an imperative sentence). The common marker of an imperative verb mood is that the subject in the sentence is implied, not stated. "Give the pencil back to me!"
Interrogative Verb Mood
Indicates a state of questioning. One marker of interrogative verb mood is that the subject-verb order is often inverted. The helping verb will come before the subject and main verb in the sentence. "Will you listen to me?"
Indicative Verb Mood
Indicates a state of factuality. It gives facts, describes what happens, or gives details about reality. This verb mood is usually found in a declarative sentence. "My cat perches on top of my cupboards."
The English language has verb moods in addition to verb tenses. These moods indicate a state of being or reality.
The most common verb moods are:
Conditional and Subjunctive Mood
Conditional and subjunctive mood are very similar, although we use the conditional mood much more often.
Conditional Verb Mood
Indicates a conditional state that will cause something else to happen. The conditional is marked by the phrase "would" "could" and "might". Frequently, a phrase in the conditional appears closely linked to a phrase in the subjunctive preceded by a subordinate conjunction like if.
"The lights might turn off if I blow this fuse."
Subjunctive Verb Mood
Indicates a hypothetical state or a state contrary to reality, such as a wish, a desire, or an imaginary situation. Subjunctive mood is easy to use, but hard to explain and is pretty rare in modern English.
By far the most common use of the subjunctive is the use of the subjunctive after "if" clauses that state or describe a hypothetical situation.
"If I were a butterfly, I would have wings."
The subjunctive indicates a statement contrary to fact. In the butterfly example above, I am not really a butterfly, but I am describing a hypothetical situation that might occur if I were one.
Some idioms (common phrases) that we say today are left over from a time when the subjunctive mood was still very common in the English language. For instance, when someone sneezes, we say, "God bless you," or "Bless you," rather than "God blesses you." In the subjunctive, the phrase indicates a hope or desire that God bless the sneezing individual. Obviously, God isn't blessing that person at the moment, because the person is sick, so the subjunctive indicates a wish contrary to current reality in the speaker's viewpoint.
the subjunctive can also appear in restrictive clauses after phrases like I wish that, I hope that, I desire that, or I suggest that, when the speaker wishes to emphasize the tentative, contingent, suppositional, or unreal nature of that wish, hope, or suggestion.
"She wishes that Americans were more formal today."
After "might" or "may"
Either the subjunctive or the indicative can appear after phrases or clauses including "might" and "may."
Indicative: "A car will crash into his house if he builds it on Interstate-40."
The sentence above indicates a real possibility that he is building his house on Interstate-40, and thus a car very likely will crash into it. Thus, it is indicative about reality.
Subjunctive: "A car might crash into his house if he were to build it on Interstate-40."
The sentence above using the subjunctive suggests that it is unlikely he actually is building his house on Interstate-40, but instead the speaker brings up the scenario as a hypothetical situation.
Finally, one more situation creates the subjunctive mood. The word "let" can be used to indicate the desire that some hypothetical situation come to pass or grant permission for this hypothetical situation to take place. This is called a "jussive subjunctive."
Indicate: That peasant eats cake every day.
Subjunctive: Let that peasant eat cake every day.