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Julie Frayn is the author of Suicide City, a Love Story (currently a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review 2013 Book Awards), and It Isn't Cheating if He's Dead. She also writes short stories (placing third in the Writer's Digest Write it Your Way contest with Samburger and Flies). Julie blogs at You can find her on twitter @JulieFrayn and facebook at

Canada Online News | Gonzo Online! Columinist

Wine. Soft music. I bet you know what I’m in the mood for.


I mean, who isn’t? It’s such a sexy thing, good grammar. Even sexier when you break the ‘rules’ and rebel. That’s right, baby – end my sentence with a preposition. Come on, split my infinitive. Oh, yes….

Mood is a state of mind. It is the way you are feeling, an expression of emotional state. Grammatical mood is the quality of a verb that tells us the writer’s attitude. See, I knew us writer’s had ‘tude.

Bagels and doughnuts….round food for every mood. ~ Chandler Bing

There are three core grammatical moods.

Indicative mood makes factual statements, asserts, denies or questions.

  • Grammar is sexy.
  • I can’t live without writing.
  • Who are you and what are you doing in my pajamas?

Imperative mood commands, prohibits, requests.

  • Don’t touch my wine.
  • Get over here now!
  • Please pass the whipped cream.

Subjunctive mood doubts, suggests, and wishes.

  • Wish you were here.
  • If I were you, I’d get out of my pajamas.
  • May you live long and prosper.

There is a fourth mood that deserves a little attention – Infinitive. An infinitive is usually the basic form of a verb with “to” in front of it: to go, to walk, to sing. Or – if you’re in the mood - to boldly go, to quickly walk, to loudly sing. Oh yeah, I split those infinitives and overused ‘ly adverbs. I guess I’m in a defiant mood. A rebel without a clause.

Infinitive mood expresses action or a state without referring to a subject. Verbs in the infinitive mood are not being used as verbs, but as other parts of speech:

  • To err is human; to forgive, ridiculous. (to err and to forgive used as nouns).
  • She is a woman to be admired. (to be admired used as an adjective to describe woman).
  • The mailman came to see me. (to see me used as an adverb to tell why he came).

Many other moods are “grammarized” – hortative, dubitative, optative, hypothetical, conditional, and potential to name only a few.

It is clear that, like me, grammar has many moods. In life, moods can be fleeting. But in writing – that mood is set in stone. Or at least on paper. So make it a good one! Or a bad one. Or sexy. Or whatever fits in your writing pajamas.

On a bad day, I have mood swings – but on a good day, I have the whole mood playground. ~ Charles Rosenblum

Our valuable member has been with us since Sunday, 24 July 2016.

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