English Grammar: Mood vs Tense
From Polyglot Club WIKI
Many people are not clear about the difference between the grammatical terms mood and tense.
Because both mood and tense are about verbs, it's easy to get confused. Tense, however, refers to time, whereas mood refers to the manner of expression.
Tense[edit | edit source]
The three possible divisions of time are past, present, and future. For each, there is are corresponding verb tenses. The most common are:
- Present: He talks.
- Past: Yesterday he talked.
- Future: Tomorrow he will talk.
Mood[edit | edit source]
Mood is the form of the verb that shows the mode or manner in which a thought is expressed.
Mood distinguishes between an assertion, a wish, or a command. The corresponding moods are:
- Indicative (assertion, fact, opinion; the "normal mood"): He talks, he talked.
- Interrogative (questions): Can he talk?
- Subjunctive (doubt or something contrary to fact. Something is not factual, but probable, unlikely, hoped for, or feared): I hope that he talks to me.
- Imperative (command): Talk!
- Conditional (a state that will cause something else to happen. Often uses the words might, could, or would): He could talk in English if he practiced more.