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Declarative Mood

Declarative mood is an epistemic mood that signals that the proposition expressed by a speaker's utterance is offered as an unqualified statement of fact. Discussion. The term indicative is used in a narrow sense as a synonym of declarative.

Declarative mood - Learning to state a fact

A sentence in the declarative mood essentially expresses a statement of fact. This is different from the imperative mood, which gives an order to someone, and the subjunctive mood, which talks about a hypothetical (and not real) situation. 

Making factual claims in writing

Here is an example of declarative mood being used in a correct way

"The man is driving the car across the country in order to see his family over the long Christmas holidays."

In this sentence, the verb construction "is driving" is in the declarative mood, because it expresses a real situation that is actually going to occur for certain. 

Now, here is an example of the incorrect use of the declarative mood. 

"If I were that man, I will be very afraid that his laziness will force his boss into firing him from his job." 

This sentence is in the subjunctive mood, so the declarative mood form of "I will be" should really say "I would be". 

Now, here are a couple basic rules you can follow when making use of the declarative mood, just in case you are still a little confused about this concept. 

  1. The declarative mood always talks about a specific state of affairs in the real world. Descriptive research papers that make observations and/or describes something in the world is thus always constructed in the declarative mood. In addition, the declarative mood can also be used to ask questions about real situations that exist within the world.
  2. The opposite of the declarative mood is the subjunctive mood. You can tell these apart in two main ways. Firstly, whereas the declarative mood talks about a real situation, the subjunctive mood talks about an imagined situation. Secondly, the subjunctive mood uses somewhat strange verb constructions, such as "if I were you". The constructions of the declarative mood, in contrast, are much more straightforward. 

Declarative Mood - Additional background information

The main idea of grammatical mood is that it lets the speaker express the level of certainty he has in what he is saying, or the way he wants his words to be interpreted by others. In this context, the declarative mood is surely the most common of grammatical moods. This is because most of the sentences that people speak have to do with descriptions of the real world: people tend to speak about people, places, and things that actually exist and that they have actually experienced. The declarative mood is thus closely connected with the basic descriptive function of language itself. 

At the same time, though, people also have imaginations; they think about not only what is real, but also what is possible. This is why the declarative mood does not exhaust all possible moods of grammar. Unlike the declarative mood, the subjunctive mood makes statements about a hypothetical state of affairs that does not really exist, but that could conceivably exist or at least be imagined.

The difference in mood is expressed through a different in verb conjugations; and it enables the listener to immediately tell the difference between a statement of fact (declarative mood), a command (imperative mood), and an imagined scenario (subjunctive mood). 

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