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Indicative Mood: What Is It?

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The indicative mood is the grammatical mood of a verb used to make statements of facts, express opinions, and ask questions. Learn more about it below.

Indicative mood definition and examples.
Indicative mood is the most common of the three primary grammatical moods.
What Is Indicative Mood?

The indicative mood is a form of a verb used to state facts and opinions, or ask questions.

  • The lamp fell and broke.

Grammatical Moods—What Are They?

A verb’s grammatical mood conveys the attitude of the person using it. Are they stating a hypothetical situation or expressing a wish? Then the verb is in the subjunctive mood.

If they’re making a command, then the verb is in the imperative mood.

But if they’re simply stating a fact or opinion, or if they’re asking a question, then the verb is in the indicative mood.

Indicative mood examples and definition.
The indicative mood is one of three primary grammatical moods in English.

What Does “Indicative Mood” Mean?

The indicative mood is the most common of English’s three primary grammatical moods. It’s used to state a fact or opinion and to ask questions.

It is raining outside.
I enjoy the rain.
Are you getting wet?

Forming the indicative mood is easy and follows typical grammar rules: singular nouns get paired with singular verbs and plural nouns with plural verbs.

He writes every day.
They study every day.

The past, present, and future tenses, along with the simple, continuous, and perfect aspects can all express the indicative mood.

  • Simple past: Luisa and Isaac danced.
  • Simple present tense: Luisa and Isaac dance.
  • Simple future tense: Luisa and Isaac will dance.
  • Past perfect tense: Luisa and Isaac had danced.
  • Present perfect tense: Luisa and Isaac have danced.
  • Future perfect tense: Luisa and Isaac will have danced.
  • Present continuous: Luisa and Isaac are dancing.
  • Past continuous: Luisa and Isaac were dancing.
  • Future continuous: Luisa and Isaac will be dancing.

Indicative vs. Subjunctive

Identifying the present subjunctive versus the present indicative can be difficult. The difference is apparent only when using the third-person singular form:

It is required that she be on time for the performance. (Subjunctive)
She is on time for the performance. (Indicative)

However, for all other points of view (first-person and second-person) the difference isn’t always as obvious. Consider the following sentences:

They ask that I wear the correct uniform.
I wear the correct uniform.

When you come across sentences like the ones above and are wondering if they’re present subjunctive or present indicative, ask yourself, what’s the point of the statement? If they’re stating a fact, then it’s indicative. If they’re referring to a hypothetical situation or making a request, then it’s subjunctive.

Another surefire way to always use verbs correctly is by using LanguageTool as your spelling and grammar checker. This multilingual text editor can correct improperly used verbs, and can also easily rephrase your sentences. Try it out today.

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