Realis mood

Realis mood

Realis moods (abbreviated real) are a category of grammatical moods which indicate that something is actually the case (or actually not the case); in other words, the state of which is known. The most common realis mood is the indicative mood, or declarative mood.

In contrast, Irrealis mood are grammatical moods that indicate a statement is untrue or unknown.



The indicative mood or evidential mood (abbreviated ind) is used for factual statements and positive beliefs, for example, "Paul is eating an apple." or "John eats apples." All intentions that a particular language does not categorize as another mood are classified as indicative. It is the most commonly used mood and is found in all languages.[citation needed]

English indicative


The indicative suffixes in Old, Middle, and Modern English regular verbs[1]
Present tense Past tense
Singular Plural Singular Plural
First person Second person Third person First & third person Second person
Old English -e -st -eþ -aþ -d-e -d-est -d-on
Middle English -e, -∅ -st -th, -s -e(n) -d(e) -d-st -d-e(n)
Early Modern English -∅ -st -s, -th -∅ -d -d-st -d
Modern English -∅ -∅ -s -∅ -d -d -d

Modern English

The indicative mood is for statements of actuality or strong probability:

  • The spine-tailed swift flies faster than any other bird in the world.
  • The Missouri and Mississippi Rivers rose to record heights in 1993.
  • Midwesterners will remember the flooding for many years to come.
  • One may use "do", "does", or "did" with the indicative for emphasis.
Indicative Mood
Present indicative: Jerry laughs on television.
Past indicative: Jerry laughed on television.
Future indicative: Jerry will laugh on television tomorrow.


The generic mood is used to generalize about a particular class of things, e.g. in "Rabbits are fast", one is speaking about rabbits in general, rather than about particular fast rabbits. English has no means of morphologically distinguishing generic mood from indicative mood; however, the distinction can easily be understood in context by surrounding words. Compare, for example: rabbits are fast, versus, those rabbits are fast. Use of the demonstrative pronoun those implies specific, particular rabbits, whereas omitting it implies the generic mood simply by default.

In German, the same effect is obtained by the introduction of a particle; ja (or ja doch, doch) can be inserted for emphasis.[citation needed]

Ancient Greek had a kind of generic mood, the so-called gnomic tense, marked by the aorist indicative (normally reserved for statements about the past). It was used especially to express philosophical truths about the world.


The declarative mood (abbreviated dec) indicates that the statement is true, without any qualifications being made. It is in many languages equivalent to the indicative mood, although sometimes distinctions between them are drawn. It is closely related with the inferential mood.


Found in Classical Arabic and various other Semitic languages, the energetic mood expresses something which is strongly believed or which the speaker wishes to emphasize, e.g. yaktubanna يَكتُبَنَّ ("he certainly writes").


  1. ^ The Cambridge history of the English language. Richard M. Hogg, Roger Lass, Norman Francis Blake, Suzanne Romaine, R. W. Burchfield, John Algeo. (2000).

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • realis mood — noun A category of grammatical moods, the most common of which is the indicative mood, that indicate that something actually is, or is not, the case …   Wiktionary

  • realis — 1. noun A category of grammatical moods, the most common of which is the indicative mood, that indicate that something actually is, or is not, the case. 2. adjective a) Of or relating to the realis mood. b) Inflected to indicate that something… …   Wiktionary

  • Grammatical mood — Grammatical categories Animacy Aspect Case Clusivity Definiteness Degree of comparison Evidentiality Focus …   Wikipedia

  • Irrealis mood — Irrealis moods (abbreviated irr) are the main set of grammatical moods that indicate that a certain situation or action is not known to have happened as the speaker is talking. Every language has a formula for the unreal. The Indian languages of… …   Wikipedia

  • Subjunctive mood — In grammar, the subjunctive mood (abbreviated sjv or sbjv) is a verb mood typically used in subordinate clauses to express various states of irreality such as wish, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion, necessity, or action that has not yet… …   Wikipedia

  • Optative mood — The optative mood (abbreviated opt) is a grammatical mood that indicates a wish or hope. It is similar to the cohortative mood, and closely related to the subjunctive mood. Ancient Greek, Albanian, Armenian, Georgian, Kurdish, Old Prussian,… …   Wikipedia

  • Interrogative mood — In linguistics and grammar, the interrogative mood (abbreviated int) is an epistemic grammatical mood used for asking questions by inflecting the main verb.[1] Its occurrence is rare. Contents 1 Examples of languages with an interrogative mood …   Wikipedia

  • Conditional mood — In linguistics, the conditional mood (abbreviated cond) is the inflectional form of the verb used in the independent clause of a conditional sentence to refer to a hypothetical state of affairs, or an uncertain event, that is contingent on… …   Wikipedia

  • Deductive mood — The deductive mood is an epistemic grammatical mood that indicates that the truth of the statement was deduced from other information, rather than being directly known.[1] In English, deductive mood is often indicated by the word must, which is… …   Wikipedia

  • Deliberative mood — (abbreviated del) is a grammatical mood that asks whether the speaker should do something, e. g. Shall I go to the market? [1] The Afar language has a deliberative mood, as in aboo Shall I do (it)? , with the suffix oo denoting the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”