The category of Mood

СОДЕРЖАНИЕ: Mood as the grammatical category of the verb, problems as the number of moods, their classification. The analysis of the grammatical categories of the indicative mood system. The difference between the lexical and the grammatical expression of time.



1. The Category of Mood

2. The Indicative Mood

3. The Subjunctive Mood

4. The Imperative Mood




The theme of my course paper sounds as following: «Category of Mood». Before beginning of investigation in our theme, I would like to say some words dealt with the theme of my course paper.

Mood is the grammatical category of the verb reflecting the relation of the action denoted by the verb to reality from the speaker's point of view. In the sentences He listens attentively; Listen attentively; You would have listened attentively if you had been interested , we deal with the same action of listening, but in the first sentence the speaker presents the action as taking place in reality, whereas in the second sentence the speaker urges the listener to perform the action, and in the third sentence the speaker presents the action as imaginary. These different relations of the action to reality are expressed by different mood-forms of the verb: listens, listen, would have listened.

Standing on such ground, I would like to point out tasks and aims of my work

1. The first task of my work is to give definition to term «mood».

2. The second task is to give the classification of moods in English.

3. The last task of my work is to characterize each mood from grammatical point of view.

In our opinion the practical significance of our work is hard to be overvalued. This work reflects modern trends in linguistics and we hope it would serve as a good manual for those who wants to master modern English language. Also this work can be used by teachers of English language for teaching English grammar.

The present work might find a good way of implying in the following spheres:

1. In High Schools and scientific circles of linguistic kind it can be successfully used by teachers and philologists as modern material for writing research works dealing with English verbs.

2. It can be used by teachers of schools, lyceums and colleges by teachers of English as a practical manual for teaching English grammar.

3. It can be useful for everyone who wants to enlarge his/her knowledge in English.

After having proved the actuality of our work, I would like to describe the composition of it:

My work consists of four parts: introduction, the main part, conclusion and bibliography. Within the introduction part we gave the brief description of our course paper. The main part of the work includes several items. There we discussed such problems as the number of moods in English, their classification, and etc. In the conclusion to our work we tried to draw some results from the scientific investigations made within the present course paper. In bibliography part we mentioned some sources which were used while compiling the present work. It includes linguistic books and articles dealing with the theme, a number of used dictionaries and encyclopedias and also some internet sources.

1. The Category of Mood

Mood is the grammatical category of the verb reflecting the relation of the action denoted by the verb to reality from the speaker's point of view.

In the sentences He listens attentively; Listen attentively; You would have listened attentively if you had been interested , we deal with the same action of listening, but in the first sentence the speaker presents the action as taking place in reality, whereas in the second sentence the speaker urges the listener to perform the action,; and in the third sentence the speaker presents the action as imaginary.

These different relations of the action to reality are expressed by different mood-forms of the verb: listens, listen, would have listened.

There is no unity of opinion concerning the category of mood in English. Thus A.I. Smirnitsky, O.S. Akhmanova, M. Ganshina and N. Vasilevskaya find six moods in Modern English ('indicative', 'imperative', 'subjunctive I', 'subjunctive IF, 'conditional' and 'suppositional'), B.A. Ilyish, L.P. Vinokurova, V.N. Zhigadlo, I.P. Iva-nova, L.L. Iofik find only three moods – 'indicative', 'imperative' and 'subjunctive'. The latter, according to B.A. Ilyish appears in two forms – the conditional and the subjunctive. L.S. Barkhudarov and D.A. Shteling distinguish only the 'indicative' and the 'subjunctive' mood. The latter is subdivided into 'subjunctive I' and 'subjunctive IF. The 'imperative' and the 'conjunctive' are treated as forms outside the category of mood.

G.N. Vorontsova distinguishes four moods in English: 1) 'indicative', 2) 'optative', represented in three varieties ('imperative', 'desiderative', 'subjunctive'), 3) 'speculative', found in two varieties ('dubitative' and 'irrealis') and 4) 'presumptive'.

In general the number of English moods in different theories varies from two to seventeen.

In this work the indicative, imperative and subjunctive moods are considered.

The difficulty of distinguishing other moods from the indicative in English is connected with the fact that, barring be, they do not contain a single form which is not used in the indicative mood. At the same time the indicative mood contains many forms not used in other moods. The subjunctive mood is richer in forms than the imperative mood.

So the meaning of the three moods are distinguished in the language structure not so much by the opposition of individual forms (as is the case in the opposemes of other categories), as by the opposition of the systems of forms each mood possesses. By way of illustration let us compare the synthetic forms of the lexeme have in the three moods.

Indicative Subjunctive Imperative
have, has, had have, had have

This is why it is difficult to represent the category of mood in opposemes, like other categories.

In speech, the meanings of the three moods are distinguished not so much by the forms of the verbs, as by their distribution.

Cf. When I need a thing, I go and buy it. We insist that he go and buy it. Go and buy it.

One of the most important differences between the indicative and the other moods is that the meaning of 'tense' does not go with the meanings of subjunctive mood and imperative mood. 'Tense' reflects the real time of a real action. The imperative and subjunctive moods represent the action not as real, but as desired or imagined, and the notions of real time are discarded 1.

The meaning of 'perfect order' does not go with the meaning of imperative mood because one cannot require of anyone to fulfill an action preceding the request. But it is easy to imagine a preceding action. Therefore the system of the subjunctive mood includes opposites of order.

Aspect and voice opossums are characteristic of the systems of all moods, but the 'passive' and 'continuous' members of the opossums are very rarely used in the imperative mood. There are person opossums (though not systematically used) of only one type in the subjunctive mood system (should go – would go) and none in the imperative mood. The number oppose me was – were is sometimes realized in the subjunctive mood (colloquial). Opposites of the category of posteriority (shall go – should go; will go – would go) are typical only of the indicative mood.

2. The Indicative Mood

The indicative mood is the basic mood of the verb. Morphologically it is the most developed system including all the categories of the verb.

Semantically it is a fact mood. It serves to present an action as a fact of reality. It is the «most objective» or the «least subjective» of all the moods. It conveys minimum personal attitude to the fact. This becomes particularly manifest in such sentences as Water consists of oxygen and hydrogen where consists denotes an actual fact, and the speaker's attitude is neutral.

We shall now proceed to the analysis of the grammatical categories of the indicative mood system.

The category of tense is a system of three-member opposemes such as writes – wrote – will write, is writing – was writing – will be writing showing the relation of the time of the action denoted by the verb to the moment of speech.

The time of an action or event can be expressed lexically with the help of such words and combinations of words as yesterday, next week, now, a year ago, at half past seven, on the fifth of March, in 1957, etc. It can also be shown grammatically by means of the category of tense.

The difference between the lexical and the grammatical expression of time is somewhat similar to the difference between the lexical and the grammatical expression of number.

a) Lexically it is possible to name any definite moment or period of time: a century, a year, a day, a minute. The grammatical meaning of 'tense' is an abstraction from» only three particular tenses: the 'present', the 'past' and the I future*.

b) Lexically a period of time is named directly (e. g. on Sunday). The grammatical indication of time is indirect: it is not time that a verb like asked names, but an action that took place before the moment of speech.

c) As usual, the grammatical meaning of 'tense' is relative. Writes denotes a 'present' action because it is contrasted with wrote denoting a 'past' action and with will write naming a 'future' action. Writing does not indicate the time of the action because it has not tense opposites. Can has only a 'past tense' opposite, so it cannot refer to the past, but it may refer to the present and future (can do it yesterday is impossible, but can do it today, tomorrow is normal).

N o t e. By analogy with can, must has acquired the oblique meaning of 'present-future' tense, but sometimes it refers to the past.

It is usual to express the notions of time graphically by means of notions of space. Let us then imagine the limitless stretch of time – a very long railway along which we are moving in a train.

The category of Mood

Let us further suppose that the train is now at station C. This is, so to say, the present. Stations A, B and all other stations passed by the train are the past, and stations D, E and all other stations the train is going to reach are in the future.

It would seem that the present is very insignificant, a mere point in comparison with the limitless past and future. But this point is of tremendous importance to the people in the train, because they are always in the present. When the train reaches station D, it ceases to be the future and becomes the present, while station C joins the past.

In reality, and accordingly in speech, the relation between the present, the past and the future is much more complicated. The present is reflected in speech not only as a mere point, the moment of speaking or thinking, but as a more or less long period of time including this moment. Compare, for instance, the meanings of the word now in the following sentences:

1. A minute ago he was crying, and n o w he is laughing.

2. A century ago people did not even dream of the radio, and now we cannot imagine our life without it.

The period of time covered by the second now is much longer, without, definite limits, but it includes the moment of speaking.

In the sentence The Earth rotates round the Sun we also deal with the present. But the present in this case not only includes the present moment, but it covers an immense period of time stretching: in both directions from the present moment.

Thus the 'present' is a variable period of time including the present moment or the moment of speech.

The 'past' is the time preceding the present moment, and the 'future' is the time following the present moment. Neither of them includes the present moment.

The correlation of time and tense is connected with the problem of the absolute and relative use of tense grammemes.

We say that some tense is absolute if it shows the time of the action in relation to the present moment (the moment of speech).

This is the case in the Russian sentences:

Он работает на заводе.

Он работал на заводе.

Он будет работать на заводе.

The same in English:

He works at a factory.

He worked at a factory.

He will work at a factory.

But very often tense reflects the time of an action not with regard to the moment of speech but to some other moment in the past or in the future, indicated by the tense of another verb.


он работает на заводе

Он сказал, что он работал на заводе

он будет работать на заводе

он работает на заводе

Он скажет, что он работал на заводе

он будет работать на заводе

Here the tenses of the principal clauses сказал and скажет are used absolutely, while all the tenses of the subordinate clauses are used relatively. The present tense does not refer to the present time but to the time of the action сказал in the first case and скажет in the second. The future tense он будет работать does not indicate the time following the present moment, but the time following the moment of the action сказал in the first case and скажет in the second. The same holds true with regard to the past tense.

In English such relative use of tenses is also possible with regard to some future moment.

he works at a factory

He will say that he worked at a factory.

he will work at a factory.

But as a rule, this is impossible with regard to a moment in the past, as in

he works at a factory.

He said that he worked at a factory.

he will work at a factory.

Instead of that an Englishman uses:

he worked at a factory.

He said that he had worked at a factory.

he would work at a factory.

Why is the first version impossible, or at least uncommon? Because the tenses of works, worked, will work cannot be used relatively with regard to the past moment indicated by the verb said (as it would be in Russian, for instance). In English they are, as a rule, used absolutely, i.e. with regard to the moment of speech.

Therefore a 'present tense' verb may be used here only if the time of the action it expresses includes the moment of speech, which occurs, for instance, in clauses expressing general statements (He said that water boils at 100o C ), in clauses of comparison (Last year he spoke much worse than he does now ), and in some other cases.

Similarly, a 'future tense' verb may be used here if the action it expresses refers to some time following the moment of speech.

E. g. Yesterday I heard some remarks about the plan we shall discuss tomorrow.

The past tense of worked in the sentence He said that he worked at a factory also shows the past time not with regard to the time of the action of saying (as would be the case in the Russian sentence он сказал, что работает на заводе ), but with regard to the moment of speech.

Since English has special forms of the verb to express 'precedence' or 'priority' – the perfect forms – the past perfect is used to indicate that an action preceded some other action (or event) in the past. He said that he ha d worked at a factory . But both in the principal and in the subordinate clause the tense of the verb is the same – the past tense used absolutely.

Summing up, we» may say that a 'past tense' verb is used in an English subordinate clause not because there is a 'past tense' verb in the principal clause, i.e. as a result of the so-called sequence of tenses, but simply in accordance with its meaning of 'past tense'.

The category of posteriority is the system of two-member opposemes, like shall come – should come , will be writing – would be writing , showing whether an action is posterior with regard to the moment of speech or to some moment in the past.

As we know, a 'past tense' verb denotes an action prior to the moment of speech and a 'future tense' verb names a posterior action with regard to the moment of speech. When priority or posteriority is expressed in relation to the moment of speech, we call it absolute. But there may be relative priority or posteriority, with regard to some other moment. A form like had written, for instance, expresses an action prior to some moment in the past, i.e. it expresses relative priority. The form should enter expresses posteriority with regard to so Tie past moment, i.e. relative posteriority.

The first, member of the opposeme shall enter – should enter has, the meaning of 'absolute posteriority', and the second member possesses the meaning of 'relative posteriority'.

These two meanings are the particular manifestations of the general meaning of the – category, that of 'posteriority'.

The grammemes represented by should come, would come are traditionally called the future in the past, a name which reflects their meaning of 'relative posteriority'. But there is no agreement as to the place these grammemes occupy in the system of the English verb.

Some linguists 1 regard them as isolated grammemes, outside the system of morphological categories. Others 3 treat them as some kind of 'dependent future tense' and classify them with those 'finite verb forms' which depend on the nature of the sentence. A.I. Smirnitsky tries to prove that they are not 'tense forms' but 'mood forms', since they are homonymous with the so-called 'conditional mood forms'.

Cf. I thought it would rain. I think it would rain if it were not so windy.

In our opinion none of these theories are convincing.

1. The grammemes discussed are not isolated. As shown above they belong to the morphological category of posteriority.

2. They are not «tense forms». In the sentences

I know she will come.

I knew she would come.

I had Mown she would come.

neither will come – would come , nor knew – had known is a tense opposeme, because the difference between the members of the opposemes is not that of tense. The members of the first opposeme share the meaning of 'future' tense, those of the second opposeme – the meaning of 'past tense'. The only meanings the members of the first opposeme distinguish are those of 'absolute' and 'relative' posteriority. The members of the second opposeme distinguish only the meanings of 'perfect.' – 'non-perfect' order.

3. The grammemes in question are not 'mood forms'. As we know all the grammemes of the subjunctive mood (with the exception of be) are homonymous with those of the indicative mood. So the fact that would rain is used in both moods proves nothing.

The examples produced by A.I. Smirnitsky clearly show the difference between would rain in the sentence I thought it would rain and in the sentence I think it would rain, if it were not so windy . The first would rain is opposed to will rain (I think it will rain ) and denotes a real action following some other action in the past (I thought… ). In other words, it possesses the meanings of 'indicative' mood and 'relative' posteriority. The second would rain cannot be opposed to will rain . It denotes an imaginary action simultaneous with or following the moment of speech (I think… ). Hence, it has the meanings of 'non-perfect' order and 'subjunctive mood'.

The category of person in the Indo-European languages serves to present an action as associated by the speaking person with himself (or a group of persons including the speaker), the person or persons addressed, and the person or thing (persons or things) not participating in the process of speech. (Cf. with the meanings of the personal pronouns.) Thus in Russian it is represented in sets of three-member opposemes such as

читаю – читаешь – читает

читаем – читаете – читают

Likewise in Modern German we have

gehe – gehst – geht

gehen – geht – gehen

In Modern English the category of person has certain peculiarities.

1. The second member of the opposemes

speak – speakest – speaks

am – art – is

is not used colloquially. It occurs in Modern English only in poetry, in solemn or pathetic prose with a distinct archaic flavour, e.g.:

Kind nature, thou art

to all a bountiful mother. (Carlyle).

The category of person is practically represented by two-member opposemes: speak – speaks, am – is .

2. Person opposemes are neutralized when associated with the 'plural' meaning.

A.I. Smirnitsky thinks that owing to the presence of the plural personal pronouns (we, you, they) person distinctions are felt in the plural of the verb as well.

E. g. we know – you know – they know.

This idea is open to criticism. If the verb itself (in the plural) does not show any person distinctions we are bound to admit that in Modern English the verb in the plural has no person.

Thus if we overlook the archaic writest or speakest , we should say that in all verbs (but the defective verbs having no person distinctions at all: he can, she may) the person opposerne is found only in the singular, and it consists of two members (speak – speaks ), the third person with a positive morpheme being opposed to the first person with a zero morpheme.

3. Person distinctions do not go with the meaning of the 'past tense' in the English verb, e. g. I (he) asked… (cf. the Russian Я (он/ты) спросил ).

4. As regards all those groups of grammemes where the word-morphemes shall and should are opposed to the word-morphemes will, would, one has to speak of the first person expressed by forms with shall (should) as opposed to the non-first person expressed by the forms with will (would) : The person distinctions in such opposemes (shall come – will come) are not connected-with number meanings.

These distinctions, however, are being gradually obliterated through the spreading of -'ll and the extensive use of will and would for shall and should .

The category of number shows whether the action is associated with one doer or with more than one. Accordingly it denotes something fundamentally different from what is indicated by the number of nouns. We see here not the 'oneness' or 'more-than-oneness' of actions, but the connection with the singular or plural doer. As M. Bryant puts it , «He eats three times a day» does not indicate a single eating but a single eater.

The category is represented in its purity in the opposeme was – were and accordingly in all analytical forms containing was – were (was writing – were writing', was written – were written).

In am – are , is – are or am, is – are it is blended with person. Likewise in speaks – speak we actually have the 'third person singular' opposed to the non-'third-person-singular'.

Accordingly the category of number is but scantily represented in Modern English.

Some verbs do not distinguish number at all because of their peculiar historical development: / (we) can…, he (they) must…, others are but rarely used in the singular because the meaning of 'oneness' is hardly compatible with their lexical meanings, e. g. to crowd, to conspire, etc.

It is natural, therefore, that in Modern English the verb is most closely connected with its subject, which may be left out only when the. doer of the action is quite clear from the context.

3. The Subjunctive Mood

Probably the only thing linguists are unanimous about with regard to the subjunctive mood is that It represents an action as a 'non-fact', as something imaginary, desirable, problematic, contrary to reality. In all other respects opinions differ.

To account for this difference of opinion it is necessary to take into consideration at least two circumstances:

1) The system of the subjunctive mood in Modern English has been and still is in a state of development. There are many elements in it which are rapidly falling into disuse and there are new elements coming into use.

2) The authors describing the subjunctive mood often make no distinction between language and speech, system and usage. The opposition of the three moods as systems is mixed up with detailed descriptions of the various shades of meaning certain forms express in different environments.

The development of the modal verbs and that of the subjunctive mood – the lexical and morphological ways of expressing modality – have much in common.

The original 'present tense' forms of the modal verbs were ousted by the 'past tense' forms (may, can). New 'past tense' forms were created (could, might, must, ought). The new 'past tense' forms must and ought have again superseded their 'present tense' opposites and are now the only forms of these verbs.

The forms be, have, write, go, etc., which were originally forms of the 'present tense', 'subjunctive mood' grammemes, have suffered a similar process and are now scarcely used in colloquial English. They have become archaic and are found as survivals in poetry, high prose, official documents and certain set expressions like Long live…, suffice it to say…, etc. The former 'past tense subjunctive' has lost its 'past' meaning, and its forms are mostly used to denote an action not preceding the moment of speech.

The new analytical forms with should have replaced the former present subjunctive in popular speech. Compare the archaic Take heed, lest thou fall (Maxwell) and the usual

Take heed, lest you should fall.

In American English where many archaic features are better preserved (Cf. gotten for got) the former present tense forms are more common.

E. g. She demanded furiously that the old man. be left alone. (Dreiser).

Some new elements have come and are still coming into the system of the subjunctive mood. In Old English the subjunctive mood system did not contain any 'person' opposemes. They were introduced later together with should and would, but these distinctions are observed only in a few types of sentences.

With the loss of the – en suffix of the plural the subjunctive mood system lost all number opposemes in Middle English. At present such opposemes are being introduced together with the word was as opposed to were.

E. g. You'd be glad if I w a s dead. (Bennett).

Barring the archaic 'present tense' forms, the' subjunctive mood system of Modern English makes use of those forms which express a 'past tense' meaning in the indicative mood system. Since they are not opposed to the 'present tense' and 'future tense' grammemes, they have no 'tense' meaning. What unites them is the meaning of 'irreality' as opposed to the meaning of 'reality' common to all the indicative mood grammemes.

Having no 'tense' opposemes the subjunctive mood system makes extensive use of 'order' opposemes. The 'perfect' forms are used to express an action imagined as prior to some other action or event.

E. g. The Married Woman's Property Act would so have interfered with him if he hadn't mercifully married before it was passed. (Galsworthy).

The 'perfect' forms, naturally, express actions imagined as prior to the event of speaking, i. e. actions imagined in the past.

E.g. If I had known that, I s ho u I d have acted differently. It is strange t/iat he s h o u I d have spoken so.

The non-perfect forms do not express priority. The action they denote may be thought of as simultaneous with some event or even following it. The order of the action in such cases is expressed not by the form of the verb but by the whole situation or lexically.

Cf. I wish he were here now. I wish he were here tomorrow. Even if he c a m e to-morrow that will be too Me. (Ruck).

The 'passive voice' and 'continuous aspect' meanings are expressed much in the same way as in the indicative mood system.

E. g. In a moment he would have been drowned. (Braddon).

She sat not reading, wondering if he were coming in… (Galsworthy).

The various shades of meaning subjunctive mood grammemes may acquire in certain environments, and the types of sentences and clauses they are used in, are not part of the morphological system of moods and need not be treated here. Still an, exception can be made.

Some linguists l think that would help in the sentence If he were here he would help us represents a separate mood called 'conditional'.

The arguments are as follows:

1. The form would help expresses 'dependent unreality': the realization of the action depends on the condition expressed in the subordinate clause (If-clause).

2. It is 'mainly used in the principal clause of a complex sentence with a subordinate clause of unreal condition'.

3. Should is used for the first person and would for the other persons.

Let us analyze these arguments.

1. If the meaning of 'dependent unreality' is to be treated as the meaning of a separate mood, then the meaning of 'dependent reality' in a similar sentence If he is here, he will help us must likewise be regarded as the meaning of a separate mood which is to be distinguished from the indicative mood. The meaning of tell in the sentence If you see her tell her to come can also be defined as 'dependent urging' and be regarded as the meaning of a separate mood distinct from the imperative mood.

2. The second argument deals with speech environment and is of little value since the same authors produce examples of the 'conditional mood' in different types of sentences.

Would you mind my opening the window?

I should like to speak to you, etc.

3. The third argument is justly rejected by G.N. Vorontsova who produces many literary examples to show that ' would-Forms' are used with the first person as often as 'should-forms'.

E. g. If I had held another pistol in my hand /would have shot him. I would love to think that you took an interest in teaching me… I wish I had a lot of money, I wouldn't live another day in London. (Galsworthy).

Besides, the popular use of forms with – ‘d instead of should and would shows the oblitaration of 'person' distinctions.

4. The name conditional hardly fits, seeing that the forms with should–would are as a rule not used in conditional clauses. They are mostly used in principal clauses or simple sentences, which distinguishes their distribution from that of forms without should – would used almost exclusively in subordinate clauses.

E. g. After all, if he lost it would not be he who paid. (Galsworthy).

Under normal conditions Winifred would merely have locked the door. (lb).

The difference between the two sets of opposemes

had written (order)

wrote were written (voice)

were writing (aspect)

should have written (order)

should write should be written (voice)

should be writing (aspect)

would write (person, irregular)

Is thus a matter of usage. That does not exclude, of course, «the possibility of a language category with speech significance (cf. the categories of case, voice). Hence the necessity of further investigation.

What unites all the grammemes above and distinguishes them from the homonymous grammemes of the indicative mood as a system is

1) the meaning of «non-fact», the presentation of the action as something imaginary,

2) the system of opposemes, as contrasted with that of the indicative mood.

4. The Imperative Mood

The imperative mood represents an action as a command, urging, request, exhortation addressed to one's interlocutor^). It is a direct expression of one's will. Therefore it is much more 'subjective' than the indicative mood. Its modal meaning is very strong and distinct.

The imperative mood is morphologically the least developed of all moods. In fact, the grammeme write, know, warn, search, do, etc. is the only one regularly met in speech (as to don't write, do write). The 'continuous' and 'passive' opposites of this grammeme (be writing, be searching, etc; be known, be warned, etc.) are very rare.

E.g. B e always searching for new sensations. (Wilde). Be warned in time, mend your manner. (Shaw).

Though the system of the 'imperative' mood does not contain 'person' opposemes, it cannot be said that there is no meaning of 'person' in the imperative mood grammemes. On the contrary, all of them are united by the meaning of 'second person' because it is always to his interlocutor (the second person) that the speaker addresses his order or request expressed with the help of – imperative mood forms. Thus the meaning of «second person» is a lexico-grammatical meaning common to all the imperative mood grammemes. This meaning makes it unnecessary to use the subject you with predicate verbs in the imperative mood. But sometimes you is used for emphasis, as in Don't you do it !

Some linguists are of the opinion that Modern English possesses analytical forms of the imperative mood for the first and the third person built up with the help of the semantically weakened unstressed let, as in Let him come, Let us g o , etc.

G.N. Vorontsova gives a detailed analysis of these constructions to prove that they are analytical forms of the imperative:

1) Sentences like Let’s let newspaper reporters take a crack at her (Gardner) prove that unlike the second let which is a notional verb the first let is devoid of lexical meaning.

2) It is quite possible to treat the objective case pronouns in the sentences Let me be frank, Let him look out, Let them both see, as the subjects.

3) An order can be addressed not only to the second person but to the third person as well.

Compare: Someone make an offer – and quick! (Barr).

Let someone make an offer.

4) The recognition of the let-constructions as the analytical forms of the imperative would make the imperative a developed morphological system.

All these considerations are serious enough. Still there are some objections to these constructions being regarded as analytical forms of the imperative.

1. There is some difference in meaning between Go! and Let him go . In the second case no direct urging is expressed as it is typical of the imperative mood.

2. Cases like Do not let us ever allude to those times , with the word-morpheme do, alongside of such sentences as Let it not be doubted that they were nice, well-behaved girls (Bennett) , without the word-morpheme do , show that let has not yet established itself as a word-morpheme of the imperative mood.

To be on the safe side, we shall assume that the if-constructions are analytical words in the making.


In the conclusion of my work, I would like to say some words according the done investigation. The main research was written in the main part of my course paper. So here I’ll give content of it with the description of question discussed in each paragraph.

The main part of my work consists of following items:

· «The Category of Mood» Here I gave the definition to the term MOOD, described views of well-known linguists on this problem (number of moods in modern English)

· «The Indicative Mood»

«The Imperative Mood» In these three paragraphs I determined three types of mood of English verb, which are accepted by all linguists, also I described when these moods can be used and how can be translated into Russian (examples are given in the text).

Standing on such ground I will add that investigation in the questions dealt with English verbs and their category of mood is not finished yet, so we will continue it while writing our qualification work.

I hope that my course paper will arise the sincere interest of students and teachers to the problem of adjectives in contemporary English.


1. B. Ilyish, The Structure of Modern English.

2. V.N. Zhigadlo, I.P. Ivanova, L.L. Iofik» Modern English language» (Theoretical course grammar) Moscow, 1956 y.

3. Gordon E.M. The Use of adjectives in modern English.

4. М.М. Галииская. «Иностранные языки в высшей школе», вып. 3, М., 1964.

5. Г.Н. Воронцова. Очерки по грамматике английского языка. М., 1960

6. O. Jespersen. Essentials of English Grammar. N.Y., 1938

7. Иванова И.П., Бурлакова В.В., Почепцов Г.Г. Теоретическая грамматика современного английского языка. – М., 1981. – 285 c.

8. Ch. Barber. Linguistic change in Present-Day English. Edinburgh, 1964

9. The Structure of American English. New York, 1958.

10. World Book Encyclopedia Vol.1 NY. 1993 pp.298–299

11. Internet

12. Internet

13. Internet:

14. Inbternet:


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