State Facts in Spanish Using the Indicative Mood

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In addition to traditional verb tenses, such as present and past tense, there are three moods that are also used in Spanish. These verb tenses reflect the way a sentence is constructed. The most common mood in Spanish is the indicative mood, which is used in ordinary, typical speech when making statements.

In Spanish and English, the three moods are indicative, subjunctive, and imperative. The mood of a verb is a property that relates to how the person using the verb feels about its factuality or likelihood. The distinction is made much more often in Spanish than it is in English. In Spanish, the indicative is referred to as the ​el indicativo.

More About the Indicative Mood

The indicative mood is used to talk about actions, events, or true statements. It is typically used for making factual statements or describing obvious qualities of a person or situation. 

In a sentence such as "I see the dog," which translates to veo el perro, the verb veo is in the indicative mood.

Other examples of the indicative mood include Iré a casa, which means, "I will go home," or compramos dos manzanas, which translates to "we bought two apples." These are both statements of fact. The verbs in the sentences are conjugated, or changed into forms that reflect the indicative mood.

Difference Between Subjunctive and Indicative Mood

The indicative mood contrasts with the subjunctive mood, which is often used in making subjective or contrary-to-fact statements.

The subjunctive mood is used to talk about desires, doubts, wishes, conjectures, and possibilities, and there are many instances of its use in Spanish. For example, "If I were young, I would be a soccer player," translates to, Si fuera joven, sería futbolista. The verb "fuera" uses the subjunctive form of the verb, ser, to be.

The subjunctive mood is rarely used in English. For a rare example of the subjunctive mood in English, the phrase "if I were a rich man" refers to a contrary-to-fact condition. Note, the verb "were" does not agree with the subject or object, but here, it is used correctly in the sentence — since in this case, it is being used in the subjunctive mood. The Spanish language seems to have no problem using the verb in the subjunctive mood when the corresponding English sentence (in almost all cases) will use the indicative mood. 

Use of the Imperative Mood

In English, the indicative mood is used nearly all the time, except when giving direct commands. Then, the imperative mood comes into play. 

In Spanish, the imperative mood is used mostly in informal speech and is one of the more unusual verb forms in Spanish. Since direct commands sometimes can sound rude or impolite, the imperative form may be avoided in favor of other verb constructions.

An example of the imperative mood would be "eat," as in a mother directing her child to eat. In English, the word can stand alone as a sentence when used in this way. The verb comer means, "to eat" in Spanish. This sentence would be stated simply as come or come tú.