The grammatical mood of a tense indicates its attitude: whether it is a statement of fact or a command or non-factual statements such as a wish, an assumption, an obligation, etc. For example, the verb “to work” has:

Classical Persian has five moods: indicative, subjunctive, conditional, optative and imperative. In modern Persian, verbs are no longer conjugated in the conditional mood. Additionally, the optative mood has transferred much of its functionality to the subjunctive mood.

Indicative mood

The indicative mood is used to express factual statements. It is not used to express statements that do not belong to the reality. In Persian, this mood is called گزارشی (“gozâreši”; reportive, reporting) because it reports statements that are based on facts or relating to facts.

باران نمی‌آید
bârân nemiâyad
It is not raining
در خانه ماند
dar xâne mând
He/She stayed at home
تهران پایتخت ایران است
tehrân pâytaxt-e irân ast
Tehran is the capital of Iran
سفر چقدر طول می‌کشد؟
safar čeǧadr tul mikešad?
How long will the journey take?

Subjunctive mood

In contrast to the indicative mood, the subjunctive mood is about non-factual statements. It is used to express possibility, uncertainty, obligation, desire, etc. In English, the subjunctive survives only in very limited situations.

فکر کنم باران بیاید
fekr konam bârân biyâyad
I think it is going to rain
بهتر است در خانه بمانی
behtar ast dar xâne bemâni
It is better that you stay at home
شک دارم که بخواهد مرا ببیند
šak dâram bexwâhad ma’râ bebinad
I doubt that she wants to see me
می‌خواهیم شاد باشیم
mixwâhim šâd bâšim
We want to be happy

Imperative mood

The imperative mood expresses direct commands or requests.

در خانه بمان
dar xâne bemân
Stay at home!
ناراحت نباش
nârâhat nabâš
Don’t be sad!

Optative mood

The optative mood is used to express hopes, wishes and prayers. Persian has distinct conjugational forms for the optative but in the modern usage, the subjunctive mood is used to express optative statements and the optative is mainly limited to some fixed forms e.g. باد (“bâd”), which is the optative form of the verb بودن (“budan”; to be) for third-person singular.

زنده باد ایران
zende bâd irân
Long live Iran!
(literally: May Iran be alive)
تنت به ناز طبیبان نیازمند مباد
tan-at be nâz-e tabibân niyâzmand mabâd
May your body not be in need of the physician’s care!
(from Persian poet “Hafez”)