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Essay: Category of Mood

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Language is a means of forming and storing ideas as reflections of reality and exchanging them in the process of human intercourse. Language is social by nature; it is inseparably connected with the people who create and use it. The development of society is connected with the development of language. Language is formed by three constituent parts which are the phonological system, the lexical system, the grammatical system.
The grammatical system which description is affected by the science of grammar is the whole set of regularities appointing the combination of naming means in the formation of utterances as the embodiment of thinking process.
The term ‘grammar’ as a constituent part of language, comes from a Greek word that can be translated as the ‘art of writing’. But later this word received a much wider sense and nowadays it is often used as the synonym of linguistics.
There are two types of grammar: practical and theoretical. Practical grammar describes grammar rules that are necessary to understand and formulate sentences. Theoretical grammar offers explanation for these rules. In general theoretical grammar deals with the language as a functional system. The aim of theoretical grammar is to describe the grammatical structure of the English language as a system. The difference between theoretical and practical grammar depends on the fact that practical grammar prescribes certain rules of usage and teaches to speak or to write correctly while theoretical grammar shows facts of language, while analyzing them, and gives no prescriptions.
Sometimes these differences arise because some facts of language are difficult to analyze, and in this case the only thing to offer is a possible way to solve the problem, instead of giving a final solution. It depends on the fact that there are different theories of the same language phenomenon, which is not the case with practical grammar.

Chapter 2
Category of mood
The category of mood which expresses the character of connection between the process denoted by the verb and the actual reality presenting the action either as a fact or treating it as an imaginary event or phenomenon, undoubtedly, is the most controversial category of the verb. Very significant in connection with the theoretical standing of the category are the following words by B. A. Ilyish: “The category of mood in the present English verb has given rise to so many discussions, and has been treated in so many different ways, that it seems hardly possible to arrive at any more or less convincing and universally acceptable conclusion concerning it ‘.
The knowledge of verbal structure and the understanding of its working in the construction of speech utterances have been deepened by the studies of the mood system within the general framework of modern grammatical theories, especially by the extensive investigations undertaken by Soviet scholars in the past three decades.
Mood in English grammar is extremely intricate and it seems there is no universally acceptable solution to this problem at present.
According to M. Block English has a mood system which contains two main moods-the integral mood of reality and the integral mood of unreality. Each of these have two systemic subgroups-spective, modal spective (may our friendship last forever), speculative (I wish he were with me), and consective (I should go there if you came with me).
These generalized expressions of attitudes may be classed into the following three groups:
The first construction type of attitude series which used to express wish, hope or desire is formed by the combination may/might + Infinitive. May it become as you wish! May God bless you. The second construction is formed by the combination should + Infinitive. It expresses supposition, suggestion, speculation, recommendation. The delegation should be received by the President of the Federation.
The third construction is formed by the combination let + Objective Substantive+Infinitive. It expresses inducement in relation to all the persons, but preferably to the first person plural and third person both numbers. Let me try to write it myself.
Moods are the changes in the form of the verb to show that various ways in which the action or state is thought of by the speaker. There are free moods according by the Curme:
Indicative Mood. This form represents something which is in close relation with reality, or in interrogative form inquires after a fact.
2. Subjunctive Mood. There are two different kinds of subjunctive forms: the old simple subjunctive and newer forms consisting of a modal auxiliary and a dependent infinitive of the verb.
3. ‘The function of the Subjunctive is to represent something not as an actual reality, but as formed in the mind of the speaker as a desire, wish, volition, plan, conception, thought, sometimes with more or less hope of realization. The present subjunctive is associated with the idea of hopeless, likelihood, while the past subjunctive indicates doubt, unlikelihood, unreality; I desire that he go at once. I fear he may come too late.
Being the grammatical category of the verb mood reflects the relation of the action expressed by the verb to reality from the speaker’s point of view. indicative, imperative and subjunctive moods are found in almost all the grammars of Russian grammarians. B. Ilyish and Ivanova find three types of moods – Indicative, Imperative, Subjunctive. B.A. Ilyish divides the latter into two forms-the conditional and the subjunctive and so on. The indicative mood is the basic mood of the verb. Morphologically it is the most developed category of the verb.
‘In conclusion, the category of mood is represented by two oppositions: the indicative mood and the spective mood. The first one is the basic mood of the verb. Morphologically it is the most developed system. Semantically , it is a fact mood; it is the least subjective of all the moods. Including the traditional imperative and the subjunctive mood, the spective mood shows a process as a non-fact, i.e. as something desirable, problematic, imaginary, contrary to reality.
The imperative variety of the spective mood is morphologically the least developed mood: it is only expressed by the bare infinitive form. The subjunctive variety of the spective mood makes use of two types of construction:
‘ Non-modal: a) the base form of a verb; b) were; c) forms identical with indicative mood forms;
‘ modal -modal verb + the base form of a verb
The problems that face the analyst are:
1) The linguistic status of non-modal subjunctive forms;
2) The linguistic status of the modal forms shall/should, will/would, etc.”

2.1 Modality in English. Types of modality

Modality is a category of linguistic meaning having to do with the expression of possibility and necessity. For example Mery might be home says that there is a possibility that Mery is home. She must be home says that in all possibilities, she is home. The counterpart of modality in the temporal domain should be called ‘temporality’. Together, modality and temporality are at the heart of the property of ‘displacement’.
So, modality is described as a mental system which is based on the mutually related concepts necessity and possibility.
Since at least Aristotle it has been known that necessity and possibility-whether they can be logical, moral and physical are related by a double negation. There are a range of modal meanings which are situated on the periphery of what may be called a modal square. (necessity, not necessity, possibility, impossibility).
There are the following types of modality:


Root modality epistemic modality

Physical modality deontic modality problematic implicative
Modality modality

Modality is dialed with the speaker’s assessment of, or attitude towards a state of affairs. Modality therefore relates to different worlds. Assessments of potentiality, as in for example ‘You must be right’ relate to the world of knowledge and reasoning. This type of modality is called epistemic modality. Modal attitudes apply to the world of things and social interaction. This type of modality is known as root modality. Root modality comprises three subtypes: deontic modality, intrinsic modality and disposition modality. Deontic modality is concerned with the speaker’s directive attitude towards an action to be carried out, as in the obligation ‘You must go now’. Intrinsic modality is concerned with potentialities arising from intrinsic qualities of a thing or circumstances, as in the meeting can be cancelled, i.e. ‘it is possible for the meeting to be cancelled.’ Disposition modality is concerned with a thing’s or a person’s intrinsic potential of being actualized; in particular abilities. Thus, when you have the ability to play the guitar you will potentially do so. Notions of modality are expressed by cognition verbs such as I think, modal adverbs such as possibly, and modal verbs such as must. Modal verbs have a special status among modal expressions: they ground a situation in potential reality.”

According to Kotkova (1998) modality is another name for mood, but one applied more specially to certain distinctions dialed with the speaker’s estimate of the relation between the actor and the accomplishment of some event. Mood is a formal verbal category while modalities have been treated primarily in terms of modal meaning.
Another idea comes from Keifer(1994) according to which, modality may be expressed through verbs, adjectives, nouns, adverbs, particles.
Russian scholar Vinogrodov separates two types of modal meanings:
‘ objective modality and subjective modality
. According to him, objective modality reflects a character of objective connections, which take place in any situation, to which cognitive act refers, namely, a possible, real and necessary connections.
Subjective modality present the evaluation of the degree of knowledge of these connections from the point of view of the speaker, they point out the possibility value of idea, which are round to a particular situation’.

2.2 Modal verbs

Because of the wide range of pragmatic uses of modal verbs by native speakers, modal verbs are difficult to define in any language
Some of the more common definitions of the modal verbs in English are:
‘ shall ‘ suggestion, decision, future, offer, question,
‘ should ‘, necessity, prediction, recommendation, advice
‘ will ‘ decision, future, intention, offer, prediction, promise
‘ can ‘ ability, permission, possibility, request
‘ could ‘ ability, permission, possibility, suggestion
‘ may ‘probability, request permission
‘ would ‘, permission, preference, request, conditional, habit, invitation

The verb will has the following forms: will which is the present tense and would which is the past tense.
Would is also used in two ways: in past-time context it expresses an actual fact and in
present-time context it expresses unreality or as a milder and more polite form of will.
Will and would may also be used as verbs of full predication (not modal verbs). Will can be used as a regular verb and means ”””, ””””””””’?,. Would is used with reference to the present and means ‘ ”””?. It is mainly found in poetry.
When will and would express recurrent habitual or actions their use is parallel.
Ex. ‘Lily had quite a reputation for saying the wrong thing, and add to it when she had said it, and adding to it another wrong thing, and so on.
”””””””” ””””””’?, ” ””” ”’?, ”” ”””” ”””” ”” ””??:
Ought to

It is a little different from the other modal verbs because it needs ‘to’ in front of the
infinitive, e.g. You ought to ask him. It has several functions but in general it expresses some obligation or deduction. For example she ought never to have allowed the event.
Here ought to is used with the perfect infinitive ought means that something
right has not been done, or a desirable action has not been carried out.

2.3 The comparison between the modality in English and Armenian

Mood is the form of the verb that shows the mode or manner in which a thought is expressed.
We identify three moods of English verbs: subjunctive, indicative, imperative,
‘ Oblique mood (conditional, suppositional, subjunctive 1, subjunctive 2) expresses doubt or something contrary to fact, wish, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion, necessity.
‘ Indicative Mood: expresses an assertion, denial, or question
‘ Imperative Mood: expresses command, prohibition, entreaty, or advice

In Armenian the grammatical moods are:
”””??, ”””’?, ”””??, ””??, ”””??, ”””??:

Indicative Mood
Compared with the other forms In English language indivative mood has a wider usage Indicative mood indicates an actual fact, representing something as a real.
Indicative mood is translated and equivalent to ””””””?? in Armenian.
Ex It was likely all nonsense, that girls were strange things.
” ””” ??, ””””””””””””, ”””
””” ””””’?:
Imperative Mood

Imperative mood is translated as ””””””’?? in Armenian and the meaning of it which expresses demands, instructions or requests is appropriate with its mening in Armenian. For example ‘close the door and come here’
”” ”””””??:
We usually use the second person (plulral or singular) with an unspoken “you” for the subject. For example come in!
It is also used to tell people not to do something. (it is the same in Armenian too). For example don’t eat too much ice-cream. ”” ” ””””??:
Indicative mood may be called ‘the mood of factuality’, and non-indicative mood ‘the mood of non-factuality’ as a subjunctive or an imperative verb forms cannot be used to show state of affairs as a fact.

Oblique mood

Oblique moods show a phenomenon, which is not a problematic or an actual fact of

reality, but a wish, purpose, supposition, doubt or condition, something contrary to fact.

There are four Oblique Moods in English: The Conditional, the Suppositional,

Subjunctive 1 and Subjunctive 2.


The conditional construction introduces universal quanti’cation. The history of the conditional is the story of a syntactic mistake. If -clauses are devices for restricting the domains of various operators. They describe the result of something that might happen (in the present or future) or might have happened but didn’t in the past. They are also called ‘ if clause’.
The conditional mood in Armenian shows actions in the future which depend on a condition; therefore, it is more typical to compound sentences. It has two tenses: future and future perfect.
For example Future tense conditional: ”’? – I will write
Future perfect tense conditional: ”’? – I would have written.
Subjunctive 1

for expressing wish, supposition, order, request, cursing, condition, demand, purpose, problematic, something not necessarily contrary to reality but unlikely to happen we use Subjunctive 1.

It is translated in Armenian as ””””’ ””’:
Ex It was impossible to conceive of life without her, who had lived with her for seventy three years, broken only by the short interregnum of her married life, which seemed now
so unreal.
””” ”” ””””””??, ”””” ””” ”’?, ””””””””, ” ”??, ”””” ”??, ””” ””” ”””””””??:

In the given sentence Subjunctive 1 is translated into Armenian with the stress of
exclamation which passes the meaning of the supposition, otherwise we can consider it
as an affirmative statement expressed by indicative mood.

Suppositional Mood (”””””??)

Suppositional Mood, which denotes a dependent unreality the Suppositional Mood expresses an action as problematic, possible, probable, but not absolute unreal action which does not necessarily contradict the reality by all means, though being problematic.
Ex They would be ill too, he shouldn’t wonder
” ””””” ””” ”””??:
Here in the translation we should pay attention to the fact the suppositional mood is
preserved in Armenian however the modal verb should hasn’t been translated.

Subjunctive 2

Subjunctive 2 expresses the speaker’s wish, regret, cndition and not the actual state of the things. It denotes an action wich is desirable, advisable, preferable, however contradicting reality.
Ex I wish I’d never undertaken your house.
”””””””””””: (””””??)
Thus we notice that the following example has found its proper equivalent of grammatical mood in Armenian.Ex If only it could always be spring.
””” ”” ”’?: (””””??)

Comparing both example we notice that in the first sentence the Subjunctive 2 is expressed I wish’ I’d construction and in the second one it by If only construction, however while translating them into Armenian we notice that both of them acquire the same construction ”’? of ””””?? .
However we should take into consideration the stylistic purpose as well, as the translation refers to a fictional work and translation firstly should be based on the connotation after only on the grammatical form, in order not to lose the very meaning which is expressed by the writer.


Finishing the investigation and coming to a conclusion we can say that undoubtedly the category of mood, is the most controversial category of the verb.
we became aware of the fact that while translating the modal words and verbs into Armenian it is really easy to find the lexical equivalent of the given word then its grammatical one. So it should be also mentioned that in Armenian there is a lack of modal verbs denoting grammatical connotation.
While paying attention to the differences between Armenian and English modal and mood systems, it is easy to notice that in English some modal verbs denoting grammatical connotation are mainly translated into Armenian with the help of grammatical mood types.Thus considering the strategies of translation we come into the following conclusion that:

1. In Armenian modal system it is easier to find the proper equivalents of English modal words than the modal verbs because of the lack of modal verbs in Armenian. In some cases we notice that the grammatical mood finds its equivalent in Armenian, however the modal verb which is expressed in the same sentence doesn’t find its proper equivalent in Armenian.

2. In some cases for stylistic purposes the modal verbs aren’t translated into Armenian, notwithstanding the fact that they find their proper equivalent in target language. As the parallels are drown on the base of fictional woks that’s why it should be taken into consideration that here the primary aspect of translation appears the meaning in general expressed by the author not the grammatical means.

3. In Armenian one English grammatical mood can be rendered by quite another One (For example, Subjunctive mood in English in some cases is translated with the help of Indicative mood and vice ‘ versa.
Analyzing both English and Armenian modal systems we realize that among the mentioned differences there are many similarities as well such as one and the same modal verb can indicate one and the same grammatical mood in both languages etc.

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