What is a modal verb? - Modal auxiliaries
In German as well as in the English language, there are a group of verbs named modal verbs or modal auxiliaries. Modal verbs give more information about the main verb in a sentence. They describe the main verb in a range of possibility (may) to necessity (to have to). Therefore, the content of the sentence changes, if you are switching the modal verbs.There are six modal auxiliaries in the German language.
|können||to be able to, can (ability)||Fähigkeiten/ Möglichkeiten||Ich kann Auto fahren.|
|müssen||to have to, must (necessity)||Pflicht/ Notwendigkeit||Ich muss arbeiten.|
|dürfen||to be allowed to, may (permission)||Erlaubnis||Ich darf früher nach Hause.|
|sollen||to be supposed to, should (obligation)||Pflicht||Ich soll mein Zimmer aufräumen.|
|wollen||to want to (intention)||Wunsch/ Absicht||Ich will verreisen.|
|mögen||to like to (inclination), may (possibility)||Zuneigung||Ich mag das Reiten.|
Conjugation of German modal verbs (present tense)
The conjugation of modal verbs is irregular in the present tense singular, due to the fact that there are no endings in the first and third person. The plural forms are regular. Pay attention to the vowel change of modal verbs in the plural.
|er/ sie/ es||kann||muss||darf||soll||will||mag|
Examples of German modal verbs
The next sentences show you the usage of modal verbs in present tense
- Mama und Papa wollen am Wochenende in den Urlaub fahren. - Mom and dad want to go to vacation on the weekend.
- Er soll sein Zimmer aufräumen. - He is supposed to clean up his room.
- Sie kann Fahrrad fahren. - She is able to drive a bicycle.
- Du darfst bis 10 Uhr wach bleiben. - You are allowed to stay up to 10 pm.
Conjugation of German modal verbs (simple past)
There is no vowel change in the simple past, but the irregularity of the first and third person singular is existing,too.
|er/ sie/ es||konnte||musste||durfte||sollte||wollte||mochte|
Examples of German modal verbs in simple past
- Mama und Papa wollten in den Urlaub fahren. - Mom and dad wanted to go to vacation.
- Er sollte sein Zimmer aufräumen. - He was supposed to clean up my room.
- Sie konnte Fahrrad fahren. - She was able to drive a bicycle.
- Du durftest bis 10 Uhr wach bleiben. - You were allowed to stay up until 10 pm.
Completing this lesson you should understand the modal verbs and their conjugation. Explore our exercises to train you skills.
Practise with a private teacher on Skype!
- Private Skype lessons
- Learn any topic
- Flexible appointments
German lessons with learning materials
I teach: German
Hallo!I'm a German language teacher, with a BA and MA degree in German studies and a degree as German court interpreter, who... was born and lived in Switzerland; so I can teach you also Swiss-German :)I offer lessons for:A1 + A2 (grammar + vocabulary)B1 - B2 (grammar + vocabulary)C1 - C2 (only vocabulary) - for people who want to improve their language and communication skills through conversations and speaking exercises.I can prepare you also for a new job and life in German speaking countries or expand your business vocabulary. My teaching methods vary according to the learner's language level and needs!First lesson is free!All learning materials will be provided!One lesson takes usually: 60 minutes. Please also take a look at my availability, I´m only available as indicated! Read more
German and English lessons
I teach: English, German
Hello, my name is Allison! I have two years' teaching experience in German and one year experience in English. I work to fit my lessons my... students' needs as well as trying to make them enjoyable.In terms of specialized lessons, I have experience giving lessons in German pronunciation. Also, in addition to my BA in German Studies, I also have an undergraduate degree in music.Thank you for your time. I look forward to meeting you! Read more
German lessons and learning materials included
I teach: German, English, French
My name is Christina and I provide fun German and French language lesson for children and adult beginners or intermediate who want to... strengthen their language skills, improve the grammar knowledge, enrich the vocabulary and get into the German culture! I can teach in English or French!I had experince in teaching German, English and French to foreign people so I do have a lot of useful learning material I can provide you to make it easier! Read more