Moods of Foods. . .Wait I Mean Verbs

In English class, we never talk about the mood of verbs. Moods become something people feel, not the different uses of verbs. I had not heard the word “mood” in relation to grammar until I took Latin. For those that are lost, hopefully I can feed you something to help you understand.

I’m in the Mood for. . .

It is amazing how long it took me to think of the different moods of verbs in relation to food, since it is so common for people to say “I’m in the mood for ice cream, or pizza, or whatever.” So, in the best way possible, I will relate the different moods of verbs, and their purpose to food.


A while back, people all over were making the realization that muffins are just ugly cupcakes. Well muffins are much more than that, they are very direct. In a muffin, what you see is what you get. The same can be said for indicative mood verbs. If you have blueberries in your muffin, you have a blueberry muffin. If you have a “ba” in the verb amabat, you have an imperfect verb. However, not everyone likes the plainness of a muffin and so they might be in the mood for. . .

. . .Cupcakes!

Cupcakes work really well for explaining the subjunctive mood. Especially since the subjunctive is an odd concept that most people don’t learn about until they learn another language. The main reason why cupcakes work for the subjunctive is because there is more to a cupcake than there is to a muffin. With the subjunctive mood, translation can be tricky because the translation depends on what other words are in the sentence. Cupcakes are similar because the icing hides what else is in the cupcakes. If a cupcake has vanilla icing, that doesn’t mean the cupcake is also vanilla. The same could be said for a sentence with a subjunctive mood verb and “ut.” Just because there is an “ut” in the sentence does not mean that it a purpose clause. If there is a “t-word” meaning “so,” it could be a result clause, but you won’t find out until you take off the icing.

What about Cake?

Cake is like the infinitive. How many times do you ask yourself, “To have cake, or not to have cake? That is the question.” It works because that question uses the infinitive while talking about cake (Thanks, Hamlet)! But the infinitives have more uses than just subject or purpose. In Latin, they are also used in indirect statements. So, infinitives have many uses just like cake does. Cake can be served at birthday parties, weddings, going-away parties and so forth.

A Milk Shake Sounds Great!

It was a bit of a struggle to relate participles to a food, because participles have both noun properties and verb qualities. Milk Shakes are similar because it’s ice cream, but you can drink it. Milk shakes have that sweet quality, but not chewing properties. Therefore, it is a best of both worlds kind of thing.

But, Eat Your Vegetables!

However, I have only been relating verbs to sweet treats and not really to healthy foods. At first that was an accident, but then when it came to imperatives, it all made sense. Everyone has heard at least once in their life, “Eat your vegetables!” That wasn’t a “may you eat your vegetables,” but a no negotiation imperative telling you to eat the carrots and peas on your plate.

In all, You eat muffins. You may eat a cupcake. I have heard that cake is good. Drinking a milkshake can give you a brain freeze. But before any of that, eat your vegetables!

About Stephanie

Latin is my major and teaching is my aim. I enjoy puns and making learning and life dorkily effective. This is the term I use to define my teaching philosophy. It means that things do get done, but can be done in a dorky fashion.

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