In a Mood or In the Mood? What’s the difference?

“In a Mood” means to be in a bad mood and “in the mood” means to have a certain preference for something.

In a Mood

“In a Mood” means that you are in a bad-humored state. You may be “in a mood” if you are tired or annoyed at someone. 

Don’t talk to Sarah, She is in a mood.

“In a mood” usually just simply means “in a bad mood”. When we say “in a mood”, we generally mean it in a negative way but you can of course use a positive adjective to make the phrase positive.

I am in such a good mood. 

In the Mood

“In the mood” means that you feel like doing something. 

I am in the mood for Chinese food.

She is in the mood for dancing. 

“In the mood” generally recognizes that people have low energy or lots of energy or sometimes feel happy and sometimes feel sad.

Imagine a situation where you feel sad and someone asks you “What music are you in the mood for? You could answer something like Leonard Cohen or Radiohead depending on the mood you are in.

What are you in the mood for?

“What are you in the mood for?” is a question that you can ask someone when you want to know what they feel like doing.


What food are you in the mood for?

I would love Italian.


What music are you in the mood for?

Let’s listen to Techno

I am not in the mood today

When people say “I am not in the mood today”, there is usually some situation that happens every day and the person does not feel like engaging in that activity that day.