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Les modes du verbe
Verb mood is all about the ‘tude; that is, the speaker’s attitude about the verb, whether it’s a fact, an opinion, a command, or a possibility.
French has a total of six verb moods: four personal and two impersonal.
Personal moods – Modes personnels
Personal moods have a different conjugation for each grammatical person (subject).
|Conditionnel||tu serais||Conditional||you would be||Condition or possibility|
|Indicatif||tu es||Indicative||you are||Indication of a fact – the most common, "normal" mood*|
|Subjonctif||que tu sois||Subjunctive||that you be||Subjectivity, doubt, or impossibility|
Impersonal moods – Modes impersonnels
Grammatically speaking, impersonal means unrelated to a subject: there is only one form of the verb for all grammatical persons.
|Infinitif||être||Infinitive||to be||Nominal verb form – the name of the verb as well as its noun form|
|Participe||étant||Participle||being||Adjectival verb form|
Mood vs Tense
Mood is about attitude, Tense is about time.
- There are three Tenses: present, past, and future, so these tell you when something happens.
- In comparison, Mood indicates how the speaker feels about what’s happening: is it a fact? a supposition? a command? a possibility?
Every verb form has Tense and Mood – they work together, as you can see in my French verb timeline.
* Hint: when the mood is not stated explicitly, for example passé composé, it’s the indicative mood.
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