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Section 6.15.2

Inappropriate Shifts in Mood

Be consistent in your choice of mood. A shift in mood without reason will confuse your reader. For example, do not combine an imperative clausewith an indicative clause in the same sentence. Seealso Lack of Parallelism.


Read the instructions carefully [imperative] and you must assemble theequipment completely [indicative] beforebeginning the procedure.

Acceptable

Read the instructions carefully [imperative] andassemble the equipment completely [imperative] beforebeginning the procedure.

Acceptable

You must read the instructions carefully [indicative]and assemble the equipment completely [indicative] beforebeginning the procedure.


If you begin a description in the conditional (often regarded as a variety of the subjunctive), donot shift carelessly to the indicative.


Unacceptable

One use for von Neumann machines proposes a single "space-seed" self-replicating factory that could be sent to another world, whereupon landing it will collect raw materials and build morecopies of itself to accomplish some enormous engineering project.

Acceptable

One use for von Neumann machines proposes a single "space-seed" self-replicating factory that could be sent to another world, whereupon landing it would collect raw materials and build morecopies of itself to accomplish some enormous engineering project.

--Kai Wu, "Artificial Life," SciTech Magazine (modified)


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## Inappropriate Shifts in Mood ##
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