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The category of Mood
Mood is the grammatical category of the verb which serves to express modality. That is the relation of the action denoted by the verb to reality from the speaker’s point of view. Modality may be expressed in different ways.
1. First of all it may be expressed grammatically by means of the
2. It may be expreised lexico-grammatically. i.e. by means of modal
e.g. They were in trouble, fortunately I could help them /Ind.M./
They are in trouble. I wish I could help them /Sub II/
3. It may be expressed lexically by means of modal words: perhaps,
4. The phonetical expression of modality is by means of intonation.
It is possible to express assurance or doubt.
e.g. He is clever /I really think he is clever/
He is clever /I don’t think so
The category of mood in Modern English is a very complicated category and it has given rise to lot of discussions and a lot of contradicting opinions. In the book "The structure of English" Pr.Ilysh writes that only 2 things are clear with regard to the category of mood:
This category exists in the English language.
There are at least 2 moods in this category and one of these moods is the Indicative Mood.
Pr. Smirnitsky considers that there are 6 moods in the English
• The Indicative Mood. They live in Moscow
• The Imperative Mood. Help them
• Subjunctive II. I wish it were summer now,
• Subjunctive I. I suggest you help them
• The Suppositional Mood. I suggest you should help them
• The Conditional Mood. But for him they wouldn’t have finished the work in time.
Professors Barhudarov and Shteling in the book “Грамматика aнглийского языка” write that there are 5 moods of the English verb:
• The Indicative Mood
• The Imperative Mood
• Subjunctive II. But for him I wouldn’t have done it. Pr. Barh. writes that in many textbooks on grammar this form of the verb is called the Conditional Mood.
• Subjunctive II. I wish it were summer now.
• Conjunctive Hood. I suggest you should do it at once. It is important that you do it.
In the book by Kobrina, Korneeva "English grammar" we find 3 moods:
• The Indicative Mood. They live here.
• The Imperative Mood. Do it at once.
• The Subjunctive Mood. I wish it were summer. I suggest you do it in time.
Pr. Bloch in his book “a cours in theoretical English grammar” (1983) writes about 4 moods. First of all he points to the opposition of the direct mood /the Ind. M./ it which represents an action as a real fact and oblique moods which represent the action denoted by the verb as unreal. The Indicative Mood is the marked member of the opposition and has guite a definite meaning, it represents an action as a real fact. The Oblique moods form the unmarked members of the opposition. They don’t characterize - the action as a real fact and have a number of meanings:
The Spective Mood /subj.I/ . It represents an action as desired or hypothetical. The general meaning of desired or hypothetical action besides the meaning of desire includes supposition, suggestion, recomen-dation, inducement, command, order.
- Do it at once.
- I suggest that you should do it at once.
- It is important that you do it at once.
- It is important that you should do it at once. Let us do it at once.
- May it all happen as we wish.
Pr. Bloch writes that the Imperative Mood may be included into Subjunctive I because they both express a command, a suggestion or recommendation, Do it at once.
I insist that you do it at once.
The combination of verbs should+inf., let+inf, may/might+inf. are included into this mood because they also express - suggestion
The oblique Moods:
The Stipulative Mood /subj.II/. It denotes an unreal action on which other unreal actions depend:
- If he were here he would help us.
- If it were summer we wouldn’t be sitting here.
- The Consective Mood /Subj.II/. It expresses an unreal action
- which depends on another unreal stipulative action;
- If he were here he would help, us.
The category of Mood is so difficult because in this category there is, no strict correlation; between the form and the meaning: /He is speaking, was asked, tables, the most beautiful./ in many cases forms that sound alike express different modal meaning – i knew he would соme. If I knew that he would come I would come too.
In some cases different forma are used to express the same modal meaning - I suggest that you do it. I suggest that you should do it. The forms do and should do express the same modal meaning and are used in the same syntactical constructions.
It is not always easy to draw the line beetween the grammatical and lexico-gramnatical expressions of modality, e.g. Sometimes it is difficult to say whether the verb should is a modal verb with the meaning следует or whether it is an auxiliary verb devoid of any - meaning and used to form one of the oblique moods.
e.g. I suggest he should do it.
But in some cases it is quite clear that should is an auxiliary verb which forms an oblique mood. It is annoying that the child should be naughty.
Due to the fact that there is no correlation between the form and the meaning linguists express their opinions about it.
Pr. Smirn. said attention to the form of the mood and that’s why he writes that there are 6 moods in English.
Pr. Bloch took into consideration the meanings of this category and he finds 4 moods /Spective mood/ - his Subj. I expresses order, recommendation, suggestion and so he includes into Subjunctive I such forms as: do it, let’s do it, should do it, might do it, do it at once. In textbooks for schools pupils are given 3 moods: Indicative, Subjunctive, Imperative, but in the Russian language the subjunctive mood has only 1 form - the form which is homonymous with the past tense and the particle “бы” - ----------------------------------------------
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