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Indicative Mood

English conjugation is built on two tenses: present tense, on one side, and past tense, on the other side. An action can be rendered in the present, so Present Tense, Indicative is used, or in the past, and Past Tense Indicative is built.

He rings the bell, waits a little then leaves.

He rang the bell, waited a little then left.

Let’s take Present Tense as reference; opposite to it, there are: Present Perfect (a prior action), Future and Future Perfect (express future actions)

I write I have written (Present Perfect)

(Present Tense) I will write (Future Tense)

I will have written (Future Perfect


Their auxiliary verb is in the present.

Past Tense has in opposition to it Past Perfect Tense (indicating a prior action) and Future in the PAST, Future Perfect in the Past which stand for future actions.

I spoke I had spoken(Past Perfect Tense)

(Past Tense) I would speak (Future in the Past)

I would have spoken (Future Perfect in the Past)

Being reported to the past, the auxiliary used for their building is in the past.

The great majority of the English verbs are regular ones; they use a form - present infinitive -as background of the conjugation. It is known that this form is used for building the simple forms; the compound ones are build by means of the auxiliary verbs (will, would, to have to + past participle, to be + present/ past participle).

Here is the scheme of a simple conjugation, of a regular verb:

Active Voice

to work

Infinitive Present to work

Perfect to have worked

Participle Present working

Past worked

Perfect having worked

Indicative Mood

Present Tense Past Tense Present Perfect

I work I worked I have worked

he works he worked he has worked

Past Perfect Future Tense Future Perfect

I had worked I will work I will have worked

he had worked he will work he will have worked

Future in the Past Future Perfect in the Past

I would work I would have worked

he would work he would have worked

Subjunctive Mood

Present Tense Perfect Tense

I worked I had worked

he worked he had worked

Conditional Mood

Present Tense Perfect Tense

I would work I would have worked

he would work he would have worked

Imperative Mood


INDICATIVE Mood presents an action, condition or existence expressed by the verb as being real, sure. An import tense of it is PRESENT TENSE which indicates that the action of the verb is done in a present moment.

She wants to buy a book

I think you might be right.

(these two verbs indicate a temporary state)

The table below indicates the values of the today’s currency

The economists speak about increasing values of Euro.

(the two verbs indicate a state that may persist for a longer time)

to describe present habitual behavior

She gets up at 7 o’clock in the morning.

They have their coffee in the dining room every morning.

Present tense is unmarked morphologically, except for the 3rd person singular which get the suffix (e)s.

(sg.) I speak, you speak, he/she/it speaks

(pl.) we speak, you speak, they speak

The 3rd person singular creates some problems of writing and spelling that are to be taken into account:

-s is pronounced /s/ after voiceless consonants

/z/ after voiced consonants

to look - he looks /s/

to take - she takes /s/

to read - she reads /z/

to taxi - he taxis /z/

verbs ended in silent –e preceded by the letters c, (d)g, s, z, pronounced /s/,/dg/,/j/,/s/,/z/

to face –she faces

to rouge – he rouges

to pledge – he pledges

to purse –he purses

to freeze she freezes

verbs ended in –s, -x, -z, -sh, -ch get the –es which is pronounced –iz

to dress – she dresses

to mix he mixes

to blitz – he blitzes

to fizz he fizzes

to push she pushes

to reach he reaches

verbs ended in –y keep it if a vowel is preceding it, but changes it into –ie if a consonant is there

to pay – he pays

to play – she plays

to cry – she cries

to try - he tries

verbs ended in o preceded by a consonant get an –es

to do – he does

to go – she goes

and add only –s when preceded by a vowel

to haloo – he haloos

to radio – he radios

In interrogative and negative, most of the verbs need an auxiliary verb, that is TO DO which is conjugated in the present and the proper verb is in the short infinitive:

I go; Do I go? I do not go.

She speaks; Does she speak? She does not speak.

We work. Do we work? We don’t work.

Exception to this rule is for the modal verbs, to BE, to HAVE:

I can speak German. Can I speak German? I can’t speak German.

She must learn well. Must she learn well? No, she must not learn well.

We are in the garden Are we in the garden,. We are not in the garden.

They have a new house. Have they a new house? They have not a new house.

When is the Present tense used? Present Indicative is used for expressing both present time and past or future time depending on context. When rendering a present time, the Present tense expresses:

a general or universal truth:

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west

Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.

Two and two makes four.

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

an action or state that characterizes the subject:

He is a good speaker of English.

They like going to the theatre.

She cannot speak German.

an action or a state that represents a habit or is repeated; adverbs are placed by them (always, everyday, ever, often, usually…)

She always crosses the street there.

We usually work in the morning

She often sleeps in that hotel.

They study a lot.

an action or state that takes place in the moment of speech; it exists but is not going on then:

She says lots of things. Is she tired?

Mary has left hands so she does not work very quickly.

an action or a state, in the moment of speech but has no continuous form:

I see what you mean.

She remembers the story I told her long ago.

We are happy that she is here with us.

introduces a quotation in a direct/ indirect way; the verb has a momentaneous character and does not express an action that is going on:

She says the pupil is diligent boy.

Peter tells us his story.

is used in stage directions:

There is a table there and Bob goes towards it.

Ben comes in, sits down, takes the newspaper and reads it.

When rendering a past action:

it gives more vividness to the text, is called Historic Present:

Meg is in the sitting room, and I come in and talk to her for a while but she seems not to listen to me and I am worried.

some verbs such as : to forget, to hear (find out), to understand, to be hold are used in the present tense instead of present perfect:

I forget what day it was.(Am uitat ce zi era.)

I am told he is very busy.(Mi s-a spus ca e foarte ocupat)

When rendering a future action:

it expresses a future expected or planned action:

School begins in September.

The exam is on 21 May.

it is used in subordinate clauses, when the main clauses indicate future actions , the two being simultaneous:

I will go to the seaside when she is there too

We will buy the house when we get enough money.


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