Verb moods are not unlike the moods of people (happy, sad, angry, etc.) in that they indicate the manner in which an action or condition is intended or conceived. Unlike people’s moods, though, which have an endless variety, a verb may only occur in one of three verb moods: the indicative mood, the imperative mood, or the subjunctive mood. Using funny tweets, we can begin to understand the different verb moods and how they function in English.
Also, as a disclaimer, we’re not saying that these tweets are flawless in terms of grammar and punctuation. They are, after all, just tweets. However, we hope they’ll help you understand the various verb moods in a way that is more entertaining than that of a typical grammar article!
The Indicative Mood
The indicative mood is used to express an assertion or denial or to ask a question. Since it’s the most common verb mood, most of the statements you make or read will be in the indicative mood. The tweets below all use the indicative mood, each one asserting a statement:
a steak pun is a rare medium well done
— sreegs (@ahuj9) September 16, 2011
The Roomba vacuum cleaner just beat me to a piece of popcorn I dropped on the floor & this is how the war against the machines begins.
— Andy H. (@AndyAsAdjective) November 30, 2013
Relationships are mostly you apologizing for saying something hilarious
— Brian Gaar (@briangaar) November 14, 2012
[sees girl reading The Catcher in the Rye]
"Ah I love that book. The way he just [clenches fist] catches all that frickin rye."
— David Hughes (@david8hughes) June 1, 2014
Although this tweet doesn’t make a statement, it does ask a question, meaning it also uses the indicative mood:
The Imperative Mood
The imperative mood is also a common mood, but it is used to give orders or to make requests. Take a look at the demands presented in the tweets below.
finish your salad. a thousand islands died to make that dressing.
— rachelle mandik 🎈 (@rachelle_mandik) January 21, 2016
To the girl crying on this bus:
Stop. If it were ok to cry on the bus, we'd all be doing it.
— Mike Ginn (@shutupmikeginn) July 29, 2014
Fool me once, please, I will take literally any human interaction I can get.
— slaughthie (@slaughthie) April 16, 2015
The Subjunctive Mood
Of the three moods, the subjunctive mood is the one that causes the most problems because it rarely appears in everyday conversation or writing. It is only used in a set of specific circumstances.
It is used in in contrary-to-fact clauses beginning with if:
If I were on The Bachelor, I'd step out of that limo wearing nothing but white socks and like, 312 candy necklaces. #DeadpoolOnTheBachelor🌹
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) January 5, 2016
It is used in wish statements:
It is used in “that” clauses following verbs such as ask, insist, recommend, request, and suggest:
It is used in certain set expressions such as be that as it may, as it were, come rain or shine, or far be it from me:
I often ponder what my soulmate Pokemon would be. The Pikachu to my Ash, as it were.
— Simon Curtis (@simoncurtis) March 27, 2016
Finally, it is used in a dependent clause attached to an independent clause utilizing an adjective that expresses urgency (such as crucial, essential, important, imperative, necessary, or urgent):
typing in all lowercase so it looks like i don't care it's crucial that everyone knows how much you don't care in 2016
— MICHAEL CHRISTMAS 🎅🏿 (@MickeyChristmas) March 27, 2016
Whatever your mood, follow Inklyo on Twitter for more great grammar-related content!