What Is the Imperative Mood? (with Examples)

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What Is the Imperative Mood? (with Examples)

The imperative mood is a verb form which makes a command or a request. For example:
  • Empty the bin, John.
  • (This is a verb in the imperative mood.)
  • John empties the bin.
  • (This verb is not in the imperative mood. It is in the indicative mood.)
The main verb (i.e., the finite verb) in an imperative sentence will be in the imperative mood. In other words, it will be a command or a polite request.

Examples of Verbs in the Imperative Mood

Here are some more examples of verbs in the imperative mood (shaded):
  • Run!
  • Get out!
  • Stop the bleeding.
  • I am going to cross the field. Shout when you see the bull.
  • (I am going is the indicative mood (i.e., just a statement). However, shout is in the imperative mood.)

What Is Mood?

Mood is the form a verb takes to show how it is to be regarded (e.g., as a fact, a command, a wish, an uncertainty).

There are three major moods in English:
  • The Indicative Mood. This states facts or asks questions. For example:
    • I am painting the fence.
    • Are you painting the fence?
  • The Imperative Mood. This expresses a command or a request. For example:
    • Paint the fence!
    • Please paint the fence.
  • The Subjunctive Mood. This shows a wish or doubt. For example:
    • I suggest that Mark paint the fence.
    • I propose that Mark be made to paint the fence.
    • If I were there, I would paint the fence.