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Chapter 7. Style > Use the appropriate mood

Use the appropriate mood

Mood describes the communicator's attitude toward or relation to the action. Verbs can express the indicative, imperative, or subjunctive mood. Writers of technical information use mainly the indicative mood for conceptual and reference information and the imperative mood for task information. The subjunctive mood, which expresses wishes, doubts, and desires, is rarely appropriate. A subjunctive statement can confuse users and can be difficult to translate into languages that do not have the equivalent verb quality.

The indicative mood is used to state facts and opinions, whereas the imperative mood expresses a command or request. With its implied you, the imperative mood addresses the user and clearly identifies the action that the user should perform. The following sentence is from a procedure:


  

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