Keep your copy clean with our latest Grammar Happy post — learn how to identify the indicative, imperative and subjunctive moods.
Moody people are difficult to read. One second you might be on their good side, but the next second you might be on the ground. When someone’s mood is constantly changing, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what they want from you.
Though they’re less likely to give you a thump, grammatical moods are just as temperamental. If you can’t control your grammatical mood, you’re going to lose control over your ultimate message.
These moods are the grammatical rules we use to express our attitude about what we’re saying. Grammatical moods indicate how committed we are to the believability, desirability or actuality of the contents we’re communicating.
There are three major grammatical moods in the English language: the indicative mood, the imperative mood and the subjunctive mood. These three moods are demonstrated in the following three examples:
Indicative: She bought a pomeranian.
Imperative: Do not buy a pomeranian.
Conjunctive: It’s essential she buy a pomeranian.
Being able to identify these three moods is an indispensable skill for any communicator. Applying moods carelessly can disrupt the feel of your writing and complicate your overall message—needlessly confusing your reader. This can happen when you mix-and-match multiple moods within a single sentence. Below, we’ve included a profile of the first of the major moods, so you can identify them in your own writing:
The Indicative Mood
The indicative mood is by far the most common mood in the English language. It’s used to state facts, to deny facts, or to query facts. Here, the keyword is fact—the indicative mood is used to engage with objective, factual realities.
Another, easier way to think of the indicative mood is as the “default” mood. If a sentence doesn’t fit neatly into any of the other moods, then it’s probably using an indicative form. Of all the moods, then, the indicative mood probably has the lowest standards.
Example: The indicative mood will hang out with almost anybody.
Tune in next week when we will discuss the imperative mood!
So now that the grammar in your press release is correct, how are you going to make sure you get your release to the right audience?
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