Verbal Mood

In English grammar, the term "verbal mood" refers to the form of a verb that shows the speaker's attitude toward the action or state described by the verb.

What is verbal mood?

Mood is the form of verb that shows whether the action is factual or non-factual. Mood indicates the speaker's attitude or intention toward the action.

Types of Mood

There are three primary verbal moods in English:

  1. Indicative mood
  2. Imperative mood, &
  3. Subjunctive mood

Each mood plays a distinct role in expressing reality, wishes, commands, or hypothetical scenarios. Read the following explanations to know more about mood.

1. Indicative Mood

Indicative mood is a grammatical term used to describe fact, ask questions, and express opinions or beliefs. It is the most common mood in English. Here are some examples:

Statement of Fact:

  • The sun rises in the east.
  • She works at a hospital.
  • They live in a small town.


  • I believe it will rain later.
  • He thinks math is challenging.
  • We feel happy about the news.


  • Did you enjoy the movie?
  • Is she coming to the party?
  • Have they finished their homework?

Verb forms:

In the indicative mood, verbs are used in their standard forms. That is, verbs that express indicative mood show tense and agree with the subject's person, and number.


  1. She walks to school every day.
  2. They went to market. 
  3. What is your name?
  4. She sings beautifully.
  5. The cat is sleeping.
  6. Are you going to the party?

2. Imperative Mood

The imperative mood is a grammatical term used to express commands, requests, advice, or suggestions. Imperative sentences often begin with a verb and do not necessarily include a subject. Here are some examples of sentences in the imperative mood:


  • Close the door.
  • Study for your exams.
  • Wait for me here.


  • Please pass the salt.
  • Send me the report.
  • Help me with this.


  • Let's go for a walk.
  • Try the new restaurant.
  • Don't forget your umbrella.

In imperative sentences, the verb is typically in its base form (the form without "to" for most verbs). 

3. Subjunctive Mood

The subjunctive mood is a grammatical term used to express wishes, hypothetical situations, suggestions, or demands that are contrary to fact. It conveys a sense of doubt, uncertainty, or unreality. Here are some examples of sentences in the subjunctive mood:

Wishes and Desires

The subjunctive is used to express wishes, hopes, or desires that may not be fulfilled or are unlikely to happen.


  1. I wish she were here with us. (In this case, "were" is the subjunctive form of the verb "to be" in the third person singular. It shows that the speaker's wish is contrary to the current reality.)

Hypothetical Scenarios

The subjunctive mood is used to discuss hypothetical situations or events that have not occurred or are not certain.


  1. If I were rich, I would travel the world. (In this example, "were" is the subjunctive form of the verb "to be" used in the second person singular. The speaker is expressing a hypothetical situation, as they are not actually rich.)

Recommendations and Suggestions

The subjunctive mood can be used to make recommendations or suggest that something be done. In this case, the verb in its base form in all tenses and after all subjects.


  1. I suggest that he take the morning flight. (Here, "take" is in the subjunctive form, suggesting a course of action.)

Demands and Requests

The subjunctive mood can be used in a polite or formal manner when making requests or issuing demands.


  1. It is essential that he be present at the meeting. (In this sentence, "be" is in the subjunctive form, used to indicate the importance of his presence.)

Expressing Doubt or Uncertainty

The subjunctive can be used to express doubt or uncertainty about a situation.


  1. It's possible that he arrive late. (Here, "arrive" is in the subjunctive form, indicating uncertainty about his arrival time.)

Verbal Mood Worksheet

1. State the Mood of the following sentences:

  1. I’ll call you later today.
  2. Shut the door and stay in until I come back.
  3. If it rains, we shall play the game of chess.
  4. Never trust a false friend. 
  5. We eat so that we may live. 
  6. If only I knew the answer. 
  7. Had I been rich, I would have helped the poor. 
  8. Long live the president. 
  9. Mother walks the baby. 

2. Fill in the gaps with the correct tense form of the verbs in brackets :

  1. He speaks as if he ---------- (know) everything. 
  2. It is high time you ---------- (sit) for the exam. 
  3. I felt as if I ---------- (be) flying. 
  4. I wish you ---------- (be) a fry fish in my dish. 
  5. I would rather they all ---------- (pray) for me. 
  6. I would rather you ---------- (return) my money. 
  7. I wish I ---------- (not break) it. 
  8. It is time we all ---------- (go) home. 
  9. I would rather ---------- (be) a sparrow than a snail. 
  10. If only he ---------- (tell) you the truth.  

3. Fill in the gaps using the right form of the verbs in the brackets: 

  1. Hamlet acted as though he ---------- (turn) mad. 
  2. If only I ---------- (get) you as my friend, I'd have been the happiest man on earth. 
  3. I wish I ---------- (sing).
  4. It is high time we ---------- (to change) our eating habits. 
  5. It is high time we ---------- (to leave) the place. 
  6. He proceeded as though I ---------- (not speak).
  7. Had the Queen of Sheba ---------- (to live) in the flat across the airshaft, Della ---------- (to let) her hair hang out to dry.
  8. Women could have managed their affairs if they ---------- (to educate).
  9. If you ---------- (to leave) earlier, you ---------- (not miss) the train.
  10. If you ---------- (to bring) me here yesterday, I ---------- (help) you. 
  11. I wish I ----------  (to sing). 
  12. Would that we ----------  (enter) this house! 
  13. If someone had not mentioned her name, I hardly ---------- (to recognize) her. 
  14. If the old sailor had not killed the albatross, God not ---------- (punish) him.