Verbs have moods verb mood

Mood is the manner in which a verb is expressed.

Verbs have moods

From A Practical English Grammar, by Judson Perry Welsh:
Also called mode, mood determines what form of the verb is used. Consider the sentences below in which the verb to swim is used to express action in different moods (or modes)

I. The indicative mood indicates fact.

The dog swims.
Here the action of swimming is indicated as a fact. Therefore the verb “swims” is said to be in the indicative mood.
The indicative mood may be used in interrogative and exclamatory sentences, and also in subordinate clauses, to show what is real or is what is assumed to be real:
Is the dog swimming? (interrogative)
The dog swam across the river! (exclamatory)
I learned that the dog had swum down the river. (subordinate clause)

II. The imperative mood commands.

Swim, dog!
Here the action of swimming is represented as a command. The word “imperative” means commanding, so the word “swim” in this sentence is said to be in the imperative mood.
The imperative mood often has an implied subject “you,” and may also express an exhortation, an entreaty, or a permission, as in,
(You) Be encouraged. (exhortation)
(You) Lead us not into temptation. (entreaty)
Do (you) come see us. (permission)

III. The potential mood indicates power, liberty, possibility, or necessity.

A. Power

The dog can swim.
Here the verb conveys the power the dog has to perform the action of swimming. The word “potential” means having power. Therefore, the verb “can swim” is said to be in the potential mood.

B. Liberty and possibility

The dog may swim.
Here the verb expresses the potential liberty and the possibility of swimming.

C. Necessity

The dog must swim.
Here the verb expresses the potential necessity of swimming

IV. The subjunctive mood expresses a condition, supposition, or wish.

A verb in the subjunctive mood will appear only in a subordinate clause. It is subjoined to the verb of the main clause with a subordinate connective such as “if,” “though,” “except,” “lest,” “that,” “unless,” and some others. These connectives are called the signs of the subjunctive.
The sign of the subjunctive is often omitted, in which case the helping or being verb precedes the subject. For instance,
Had I time..., rather than If I had time...
Were I king..., rather than If I were king...

A. Future contingency

 If the dog swim fast enough, he can seize the floating stick.
Here in a subordinate clause the action of swimming is subjoined as a condition on which another action--that of seizing in the main clause--may be performed.

B. Uncertainty

Though the dog swim toward shore, he may be swept out to sea.
In this sentence the uncertainty of the dog making it to shore is expressed.

C. Supposition or wish

O would that the dog swim safely to shore!
Here a wish is expressed; the speaker hopes that the dog will swim safely to shore.
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