The category of Mood
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.
|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.
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.