Mood – mode


Let's Define It!

What's a*mood*?

A grammatical mood (which is called un mode in French) is a trait of verbs used to show modality. OK, this isn't helping quite much, but stay with me a bit longer. Here we go!

When speakers employ a verb in a particular mood, they use verbal inflections (i.e. changes in the verb forms) which can allow them to express a certain attitude, a certain mood, towards the idea represented by this verb. For example,

  • In the case of the subjunctive mood, this attitude could be a doubt, wish, feeling or opinion

  • In the case of the indicative mood, it is a fact (thus grounded in reality,) or a belief

  • In the case of the imperative mood, this attitude could lead to a giving a command, request or instructions.

There are several French moods grouped in two categories:

  1. personal moods = indicative, imperative, subjunctive, conditional
  2. impersonal moods = infinitive, gerund, participle


Let's Pronounce It!

What does it sound like in French?


Let's Have an Example or Two!

Can a little reinforcement do the trick?

Here are some sentences expressed in different moods.

  • J'achèterais une Tesla si j'avais de la place dans mon garage (I would by a Tesla if I had some space in my garage.) --> conditional mood for "achèterais".
  • Ne mangez pas ce fruit! (Do not eat this fruit.)  --> imperative mood 
  • Je voudrais que vous veniez à la soirée. I would like you to come to this party.  --> subjunctive mood for "veniez".
  • Je m'appelle Herman. (My name is Herman) --> indicative mood



Let's Take a Quiz!

What did you learn?