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Grammatical categories of the Verb: Mood




As a regular categorial form of the verb, voice is combined with other categorial distinctions of tense, aspect and taxis. Moreover, the verbal process is characterized by its attitude to the objective reality.It means that the process is necessarily regarded as real or unreal. In other words, the event expressed in a sentence is interpreted by the speaker with reference to being either real or unreal as belonging tomood. Mood is the grammatical category of the verb expressing modality, i.e. the relation of the action denoted by the verb to reality from the speaker’s point of view.Finite verbs have three moods:

· Indicative Mood representing an action as a fact of reality (in past orpresent) or as in close relation with reality (in future). Morphologically the Indicative Mood is the most developed system including tense, aspect and taxis;

· Imperative Mood representing an urge to the action in the form of a command, order, request, suggestion, which are considered to be unreal;

· Subjunctive Mood representing an action as a non-fact, something imaginary or desirable or problematic. It does not reflect an actual reality, but shows something formed in the mind of the speaker as a supposition, desire, volition, etc.: e.g. If I knew her address, I would find the road. I’ll buy the book whatever it might cost. I wish he would enjoy his job. It is necessary that he should go there.

The Subjunctive Mood includes two entirely different kinds offorms, analytical and synthetical, united by the same grammatical meaning of irreality.Thesynthetical forms are divided intoPresent Subjunctive(be, have, work – for all persons, singular and plural) and Past Subjunctive(were, worked, spoke): e.g. I suggest that he set off right now. We insist that she be with us. Come what will be. I wish she were here. The Subjunctive is also expressed byanalytical forms of thePast (Continuous and Perfect) homonymous to those of the Indicative Mood and the syntactical analytical construction‘should/would + infinitive’ or modal phrases ‘could/might + infinitive’:e.g. If only they had been living there. I wish he would pass his exams. If the weather had been better, we could have gone out for a walk.

The specific feature of the English Subjunctive is that it has no tense forms to show time relations; the forms of the Subjunctive indicate only whether an action is thought of asprior, posterior or simultaneous with the moment of speaking: e.g. He would have recovered soon, if he had taken pills. I wish he would study English. If only he were studying hard!

As for the functional side of it, subjunctive referring to present or future is a system of verbal forms expressing a hypothetical action appraised as an object of desire, wish, consideration.Meanwhile, subjunctive referring to pastis found to be the mood of reasoning, criticism based on contraries between situations of reality, which are opposed to the corresponding situations of unreality existing as the reflection of the speaker’s intention to imagine it in a different way. Compare: e.g. I wish he would end up his work on time/ I wish he had ended up his work on time. If he drove carefully, he would never have an accident/ If he had been driving carefully, he wouldn’t have had an accident.

The term‘irreality/unreality’ with reference to Subjunctive is used in a broad sense. It comprises all non-facts, unreal actions which are contrary to reality with different degree of likelihood. Semantically, unreal Subjunctive splits into three types:

· unreal condition expressed incomplex sentenceswith a subclause of condition, concession (if, even if, on condition that, provided that, supposing that, whatever, no matter how), compound sentences with ‘otherwise, or else’, simple sentences with implied condition:

e.g. Provided that the economic situation were better, the rate of inflation would fall down. He used to be a strict teacher, otherwise there would have been no discipline in class. But for his bad health, he could have entered the competition;

· unreal comparisonexpressed incomplex sentenceswitha subclause of comparison (as if, as though) anda predicative clauseafter ‘seem, look, feel, smell, taste’:

e.g. She was crying as if she had been feeling hurt. It smelt as though it were burnt;

· unreal volitionexpressed inobject clauses after ‘wish, advise, order, insist, suggest, tell’, appositive clauses (it is time, it is important/ desirable/ funny/ surprising); predicative clauses (my suggestion/ advice/ request is that...), andsubclauses of purpose (so that, in order that, lest):

e.g. She insisted that the son put away the toys. I wish the problems would be sorted out. It is time he went off. It is amusing that they should have made fun of him. He left the books so that everybody could look them through.

The main conclusion is that Subjunctive as the categorial form of mood is typically characterized by a variety of morphological and lexico-syntactic devices,and that is why, it has rather lexico-grammatical orientation.

To conclude, the verb grammatical form in English realizes a number of grammatical meanings, which help the speaker identify the location of the event in the objective reality through the following:

reference to the moment of speaking / Tense;

reference to another moment or event / Taxis;

manner of the occurrence of the process / Aspect;

direction of the process / Voice;







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