indicative mood



We explain what the indicative mood is, when it is used, its conjugation and examples in each of the verb tenses it covers.

The indicative mood allows you to express the greatest number of ideas in any language.

What is the indicative mood?

In grammar, the indicative mood is one of the conjugation modes of the verbs of most Indo-European languages ​​(among them, Spanish. It is distinguished from the other ways in which it is used to describe the state of things in reality, that is, to carry out propositions referred to reality, and not to influence the receiver (such as the imperative mode) or to express hypothetical wishes or events (such as the Subjunctive mode).

The indicative mood is the most frequently used during the Verbal communication, both in written and oral language, and it is the way in which the greatest number of ideas can be expressed in any language. In fact, in languages ​​where there is no distinction between verb modes, it can be said that everything said is always in the indicative mood.

The simplest way to understand the indicative mood is as a concrete reference to a real event, which can be as simple as a description of a specific action ("the dog runs in the park" or "the cat ate croquettes", for example), or as complex as the description of an imaginary relationship ("good ideas are usually very rare in times of crisis" or "independence was won through arms").

In all cases, it is a way of referring to a reality (immediate, historical or whatever it is) to communicate it.

Verb tenses in the indicative mood

The verb tenses of Spanish, conjugated according to the indicative mood, are the most numerous of all the modes, since they adapt to the very different temporal perspectives that we take to refer to reality. Depending on their use of the auxiliary verb "have", we can classify them into two large groups: simple tenses and compound tenses.

Simple verb tenses, which do not use any auxiliary verb, that is, they consist of only one verb form. In Spanish, they tend to refer to unfinished actions (that is, “imperfect” in grammatical language). These verb tenses are:

  • Present. The aforementioned occurs at the same moment in which it is spoken, or it is a recurring action or a habit that occurs on a regular and predictable basis. For example: "Sugar attracts to the ants "," That painting this a little crooked "," Always we had breakfast cereal with milk "or" The trees flourish in spring".
  • Past or past. Obviously, it describes actions that have already occurred in time, in two recognizable and different ways:
    • The past imperfect, which describes past actions or situations without making any emphasis on their duration, start or end time, but rather extends into the past tense in an imprecise way. For example: “The town she lived peacefully "," The sirens they attracted to the sailors ”,“ His mother it was Italian and I know called Mary".
  • The past indefinite or past perfect simple, which refers to actions or situations that occurred and ended, without any connection with the present of the speaker. For example: “Mario lived four years in Sicily ”,“ Your dog gave a bite "," San Martín passed away in Europe ”or“ What do you He passed To your sister?".
  • Future. It allows the speaker to refer to actions that have not yet occurred, but that will do so in the time to come. It can also be used to express other nuances, such as in certain exhortative sentences or prohibitions (as in “no will kill"), Or also to express probability (as in" Who call to so insistently at the door? ”). For example: "Tomorrow we'll go to visit grandmother "," Your request reach within an hour "or"You will come back early?".
  • Conditional. It is used to express a future and hypothetical action from another that serves as a cause or that expresses probability. In those cases, it is usually accompanied by the subjunctive (as in “If you were taller, I would have than wearing heels ”). It can also be used as a courtesy formula, and according to some authors it could be understood as a mode in itself. For example: “I don't know today if would run more risks than yesterday ","Would you have kindness to help me? ”,“ I I would want count on your approval ”.

Compound verb tenses, those that use the auxiliary verb "have" conjugated and followed by the participle of the verb. They generally have a very specific sense of time. These verb tenses are:

  • Preterite perfect compound. It is the compound version of the simple past perfect or indefinite past, and expresses an action past in time, but whose meaning is perpetuated until it reaches the speaker. This subtlety in its sense may vary in the different geographical regions of Spanish. For example: "I have arrived early to work all month "or" Do I you have had into account in the distribution of money? ".
  • Past perfect or antecopreterite. In this case, it is a past action that is presented as prior to another action that has already occurred. For example: “When I asked him, there was done the task "," The conquerors arrived when the aborigines they had abandoned the city".
  • Past perfect. Very little used on the tongue spoken, is a time almost reserved for writing literary, in which it is used to indicate an action immediately prior to that described by another verb, also past.It is distinguished, then, from the previous case by a shade of time hardly. For example: “After they will have satisfied your desires, they were put in motion "or" Once we will have committed the misdeed, the conscience decided not to give us respite ”.
  • Perfect future. This verb tense is used to express a future but finished action, prior to another action also to occur. In these cases, the subjunctive mood is also used for the other verb. Sometimes it is also used with a past sense, when you want to express a conjecture, accompanied by words such as "I suppose", "probably" or "maybe". For example: “When you get out of the bathroom, will be over the movie ”,“ Tomorrow I will will have done cash the deposit "or" I guess already will have bought the entrances ”.
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