|Modes personnels||Personal moods|
|Personal moods make a distinction between grammatical persons;
that is, they are conjugated.
|1.||Indicatif||Indicative||Indicates a fact - the most common mood.||je fais||I do|
|2.||Subjonctif||Subjunctive||Expresses subjectivity, doubt, or unlikelihood.||je fasse||I do|
|3.||Conditionnel||Conditional||Describes a condition or possibility.||je ferais||I would do|
|4.||Impératif||Imperative||Gives a command.||fais-le !||do it!|
|Modes impersonnels||Impersonal moods|
|Impersonal moods are invariable, meaning that they do not distinguish between grammatical persons.
They are not conjugated, but instead have a single form for all persons.*
|5.||Participe||Participle||Adjectival form of the verb.||faisant||doing|
|6.||Infinitif||Infinitive||Nominal form of the verb, as well as its name.||faire||to do|
|The difference between tense and mood is very simple. Tense indicates the
when of the verb: whether the action takes place in the past, present, or future. Mood
describes the feeling of the verb; more specifically, the speaker's attitude toward the action of the verb. Is s/he saying that it's true or uncertain? Is it a possibility or a command? These nuances are expressed with different moods.
Moods and tenses work together to give verbs a precise meaning. Each mood has at least two tenses, present and past, though some moods have more. The indicative mood is the most common - you might call it the "normal" mood - and has eight tenses. When you conjugate a verb, you do so by first choosing the appropriate mood and then adding a tense to it. Take a look at my introduction to verb conjugation and verb timeline for more information about how tenses and moods fit together.
*However, in the case of pronominal verbs, the reflexive pronoun must change to agree with its subject.