Latin verbs can take three moods, each with its own purpose and function in a Latin sentence. The indicative mood (from Latin indicare, “to point out”) literally indicates facts that have already happened, are happening, or will mostly likely happen in the future. The indicative also indicates facts that did not happen, are not happening, and will not happen in the future. For example:
Puer puellae rosam dedit (The boy gave a rose to the girl)
Puer puellae rosam dat (The boy is giving a rose to the girl)
Puer puellae rosam dabit (The boy will give a rose to the girl)
The imperative mood (from Latin imperare, “to command”) issues a command to the recipient. Imperative verbs have only two forms, singular and plural, because a command can only be given to someone in the second person (you), never in the first (I, we) or third (he, she, it) person. For example:
Puellae rosam da (Give a rose to the girl) singular
Puellae rosam date (Give a rose to the girl) plural
The subjunctive mood indicates the potential, hypothetical, or ideal. It usually represents an action that may, would, or should take place. In English, the subjunctive is comparatively uncommon. English often employs the auxiliaries "were" and "would" to describe an action that is ideal. For example:
If I were president, I would lower taxes.
Notice that although "I" is singular, were indicates the subjunctive mood (rather than was). The word if also helps clue the English reader that the subjunctive mood is being used. However, this is not always the case. A rearrangement of the words in the sentence eliminates the need for if:
Were I president, I would lower taxes.