The tense of the verb
Verb forms place actions in time taking as a reference the moment in which it is spoken. Thus, the verb forms can place the action in the past, present or future.
- Verb forms that express actions that have occurred before the moment of speaking are in the past. For example, el caballo bebió.
- Verb forms that express actions that occur at the moment in which it is spoken are in the present. For example, el caballo corre por el campo.
- Verb forms that express actions that will occur after the moment of speaking are in the future. For example, el caballo comerá en el establo.
The mood of the verb
Sometimes we use verbs to express real actions, for example, el caballo bebió en el río. We can also use verbs to express wishes, for example, ¡Ojalá el caballo escape! Other times, verbs help us to express orders, for example, ¡Corre más!
These different attitudes of the speaker towards the action are reflected in the mood in which the verbal forms appear. The mood indicates if the speaker considers the action real, if he expresses a wish or if he formulates an order.
There are three moods of the verb: indicative mood, subjunctive mood and imperative mood.
- When we speak of actions that are presented as real we use verb forms in the indicative mood. For example, el hombre se ha marchado.
- When we express wishes or give negative orders, we use verb forms in the subjunctive mood. For example, ¡Ojalá tuviera una casa más grande! ,No digas eso.
- When we give affirmative orders, we use verb forms of the imperative mood. For example, ¡Ven ahora mismo!