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Modal verbs in Spanish

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Modal verbs in Spanish are used together with the infinitive of a verb. They "modify" the statement of the full verb in the sentences to express a possibility, necessity, ability, obligation or permission. The following verbs are the most important modal verbs in Spanish: 

  • poder (can)
  • saber (to know)
  • querer (to want to)
  • deber (must)
  • soler (to do something usually)
  • tener que (to have to)

Poder (can)

The spanish verb "poder" expresses a possibility:

  • ¿Puedes ayudarme? - Can you help me?
  • ¿Puedes venir a la reunión? - Can you come to the meeting?
  • Hoy no puedo ir al trabajo. - Today I can not come to work. 

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Saber (to know)

As a modal verb "saber" describes an ability

  • Mi hija todavía no sabe nadar. - My daughter still does not know how to swim.
  •  tocar el piano. - I know how to play the piano. 
  • Los estudiantes no saben hablar francés. - The studens don't know how to speak French.  

Querer (to want)

With "querer" you can express a possibility

  • Quiero hacer una fiesta. - I want to have a party. 
  • Queremos viajar a Tenerife. - We want to travel to Tenerife. 
  • El perro no quiere comer. - The dog doesn't want to eat. 

Deber (must)

The modal verb "deber" is used to describe obligations:

  • Debes ponerte botas. - You must wear boots. 
  • Los niños deben dormir temprano. - The children must sleep early. 
  • Debes trabajar más. - You must work more. 

Soler (to do something usually)

"Soler" is used to express regularities

  • Suelo estudiar por la tarde. - I usually study in the afternoon. 
  • Jorge y Laura no suelen ir a ese restaurante. - Jorge and Laura usually do not go to that restaurant.
  • Toda la familia suele comer junta los domingos. - The whole family usually eats together on Sundays. 

Tener que (to have to)

With "tener que" you can describe obligations

  • Tengo que estudiar mucho para el examen. - I have to study very much for the exam. 
  • Tienes que decir algo. - You have to say something. 
  • No tienen que caminar a la casa. - They don't have to walk to the house. 

 

In this lesson you got to know the most important modal verbs in Spanish. Test your knowledge now in our free exercises. Good luck!smiley


Exercises

  1. Practice the use of modal verbs in Spanish
  2. Drag in the correct modal verb

Practice the use of modal verbs in Spanish


Drag in the correct modal verb


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Hi! I've been teaching Dutch, Spanish and Italian for many years, in The Netherlands, for private institutes, for the integration of foreigners into society, and online from Italy, where I currently live.

I will help you, in a simple but effective way, to learn your favorite language(s). By focusing on conversation from the very beginning, I will help you in becoming confident with the language so that you will learn it faster.

Learning a foreign language is not a matter of doing much effort, but rather of being consistent, enjoying the lessons and allowing your intuition to work with you. You will book immediate results while having fun!

I offer you general language courses Italian (A1-C2), Dutch (A1-C1) and Spanish (A1-C1), as well as courses "Basisinburgering" "Inburgeringsexamen A1 and A2".

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Elena is an excellent teacher and a very nice person. I have been training in Spanish with Elena for quite some time now after her being recommended to me by a friend, and have consistently been very pleased with our lessons. While I do not consider myself to be very good at learning foreign languages, Elena is very patient and adapts the lessons to my ability, making me feel at ease. In fact, I find her to be extremely skilled at assessing exactly where I am at any given time with respect to my individual learning situation, and structuring the lessons accordingly. I think I probably would have given up trying to learn Spanish had I not began my study with Elena; and that would have been a shame considering where I am now with the language. Because of Elena's skilled help, I am extremely pleased to not only be conversant in basic Spanish, but also have confidence that I will one day reach full proficiency with the language. No other learning method I tried before meeting Elena compares to the one-on-one, personalized instruction I receive from her, which comprises reading; writing; developmental exercises; and most importantly, conversation. To be able to look at Spanish now and have it appear largely familiar is extremely satisfying. I even plan to study Italian with Elena after reaching my desired level in Spanish. These are not things I ever imagined would occur at the beginning stages of my studies. I am a native English speaker and find Elena's English to be excellent. She had no difficulty instructing me from the very beginning levels where it was necessary that a lot of English be spoken in our lessons, to where we are now with much less English being spoken. The friend who recommended Elena to me learned Dutch from her, and is equally pleased with their experience. I would not hesitate to learn from Elena any of the languages she teaches. I give Elena my highest recommendations and thank her for all the help she has provided me.
Elena P. Elena P.
Thank you for your feedback, Brandon! I am very happy to know that you are so satisfied with the lessons. I've always believed that you could make it and I am glad that we never gave it up. The right attitude and a high level of perseverance have been the keys to your success. It has been a pleasure to be your guide in your learning process. I know that you can do much more, so let's continue towards a next level!

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Hello! My name is Celia and I´m a Spanish tutor from Alcala de Henares, Madrid (Spain). I work as a professional musician and as a teacher. I´m an open minded person and I´m looking forward to teaching you Spanish! I like giving a different approach to my classes so that they are enjoyable and fun. Fall in love with my native language!

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She is amazing. She is excellent at her job, with very innovative teaching methods, she understood exactly my needs and adjusted her techniques based on them. Totally recommended!
Celia S. Celia S.
Thank you so much, Magda! I´m really happy you enjoy our lessons. You´re a great student and we are going to make a great lots of progress together!

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Who I am?

My name is Virginia, 28 years old and I work exclusively to unregulated training.

- TOEIC Diploma in English level C1
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I also have a TEFL 120h Masterclass certificate (Language Teaching Training).

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- Audio-lingual method: Learning naturally by deduction - It is the most effective for anchoring knowledge.
- Communicative approach: I place special emphasis on interaction and the use of language in real situations.

- Total Physical Response (TPR) and educational games: Oriented towards children. Learn English in a fun and practical way.

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- I have a lack of a history of sexual crimes (mandatory by law to work with minors in Spain) issued by the Ministry of Justice.

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Virginia is smiling and supportive all the time! She speaks many languages any addition of Spanish so she's able to help if I don't understand in Spanish. She provides structured lessons with clear goals and different ways to learn. Therefore the lesson is dynamic and very efficient. She's committed to help her students and you can see it since the beginning. Many thanks Virginia!
Virginia N. Virginia N. ES
Many thanks to you Clemence. See you! :-))))

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Hi, welcome to my profile!
My name is Alessia and I currently live in Italy. I lived some years in America where I deepened my knowledge of English and American dialects. I am currently specializing in the Spanish and German. In all these years I have given private lessons of Italian, English, Spanish and Japanese, at the moment the most required language. Regarding Japanese, I had the opportunity to experience the teaching of the language in an American College with a native Japanese teacher, implementing the method that they themselves use to learn their language. I will help you in a simple way; conversation is really important to learn a language and even more a good method. No days spent on textbooks are needed, constancy and fun during lessons are the most important part for learning. You will see the results immediately! I am patient, flexible and I will adapt in all ways to your personal needs. I'll wait for you on my profile for the trial lesson and discover an easy and fun method to learn a language as soon as possible.

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I am excited to start with Alessia my Spanish classes soon! She is really engaging and with a lot of strength to teach!
Alessia T. Alessia T. IT
Thank you Martina!

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Hello! We learn best when we enjoy what we do. My students have always told me that learning with me is very enjoyable and fun. : D (I have been teaching for more than 10 years now)

If you want to know a little more about me:
· I have two Master's degrees [1) Journalism, 2) Advertising, PR, and MK.]
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· I love learning, especially about personal leadership, neuroscience, psychology, cultures, and languages ... That's why
· I travel a lot (for work and on vacation)

I look forward to meeting you! :)

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Mayte is a very professional teacher that makes you feel at ease and is very patient. She puts a lot of effort in the preparation of classes & that makes me very motivated! She is also just a fun & enthusiastic person so the lessons are something I really look forward to every week.
Mayte C. Mayte C.
Thank you so much Elisa for your very positive review. :D It’s also a pleasure to have you as a student every week and I look forward to seeing how you continue learning so well!

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Hello! My name is Patricia and I have been teaching Spanish for foreigners for 18 years. I work in academies and online lessons, with youth and adults. I studied Hispanic Philology and I specialized in teaching Spanish to foreigners. I frequently attend seminars to keep up to date with advances in teaching.
To learn a language you have to "live" in it, that`s why my classes are based on practice and fun, to have an effective and lasting learning.
I adapt my classes to your needs: improve fluency, grammar, pronunciation, find a job, travel, prepare an exam (DELE, SIELE). In the first class we will analyze your needs and the best way to work. I use my own materials, videos, songs, games, specialized manuals, etc.
I am looking forward to working together!

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Patricia is very professional and speaks clearly. It made a very good impression on me. I definitely recommend it.
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Patricia R. Patricia R.
Thank you very much for your feedback, Ira. Your interest and your willpower to improve your Spanish is admirable. Keep it up!
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Hello, I am Fede, your teacher of Spanish and English. I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina and I live in Mallorca, an island of Spain. I am a Certified Teacher with 9 years of experience and I have just finished my Master’s as a Teacher of Spanish as a Foreign Language (ELE). I can help you prepare the DELE, SIELE, CELU, PET, FIRST and CAE exams as I have helped other students or if you simply want to learn the language for travel or to get a new job.

I am a teacher who loves to do a fun class! and at the same time! I am very serious about helping my students progress. I have all the study materials necessary to practice conversation, vocabulary, grammar, reading and writing.

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Very pleasant teacher, as well as an excellent methodology. The dialogue takes place very naturally.
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Federico M. Federico M. AR
Very good class with Margaux, a young woman with a lot of knowledge and a lot of vocabulary :)
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Are you tired of trying to improve your English or Spanish without any results?
I am an English teacher graduated in English Studies with more than 7 years experience.
My method is based on conversation and interactive activities with the purpose of having fun while you get the level that you need.

All level classes.
Also Official Exams training.

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Georgina is a great professional and she makes you feel really comfortable during the lessons. She´s kind and nice. I totally recommend her. Thanks, Georgina!
Georgina A. Georgina A. ES

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PRIVATE SPANISH CLASSES FOR ALL LEVELS AND CERTIFICATES

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It was a very good first lesson. Isabel was very helpul and explaining very clearly. Looking forward to the next lesson.
Isabel R. Isabel R. ES

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I have been through many Spanish tutors online. Montserrat is by far the most creative and fun to learn with.
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Clases de español from A1 to C2 with Lourdes !!

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Lourdes is a great teacher! She has an easy going personality that makes you very comfortable during the class! I can be a little bit awkward when I talk to someone for the first time, but I didn't feel that at all during our first session! She always has a positive energy which is very encouraging. I've tried free trials with another teacher who I'm sure is good as well but the sessions lasted 15 min. Lourdes The free trial class was 1 hour and it felt exactly like the ones I paid for! The materials she uses are easy to follow but challenging enough to make steady progress. I would recommend her for anyone who is looking for an excellent and patient teacher with captivating personality!
Lourdes B. Lourdes B. ES

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Hello! I am Cesar. I come from Madrid (Spain) and I teach Spanish for foreign students since 2016.- That's my profession.- I have studied Spanish Language and Literature and a master in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language.- Online activities and exercises adapted to each student.- Levels from A1 (beginner) to C1 (advanced).- Reports and optional exercises between lessons.- Preparation for official exam DELE (I work as DELE examiner).- I speak English.- Je parle français.- Я немного говорю по русски.

 

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César R. César R. ES

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Hi there,
I am a Mexican Literature professional with a B. A. on Literature and Spanish Language.
With me, you can learn advanced Spanish with a Literature and Grammar-based strategy taking always into consideration all of the Spanish different dialects.
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Top-notch teacher! Highly recommended! Very professional, easy-going and patient, especially for beginners like me! :D There are a lot of interesting content within his teaching material interweaving with the grammar, which makes the lesson very entertaining and helps acquire the knowledge about language easier. In one hour with Diego you can get an excellent learning experience but also a decent package of information about the Spanish culture!
Diego M. Diego M.

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Hello dear students!

My name is Maria Berroteran, I was born in Venezuela and now live in Germany. I am not here to offer you the typical boring language classes, I am here to help you develop your skills, to make you feel comfortable when speaking and to learn the language in a fun and efficient way. Let's have fun together, it's the best way to learn! Don't worry if you need help, I'm here to guide you and answer all your questions without judging.

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Maria is a really sweet teacher who really wants to help you. Her powerpoints are beautiful and really clear. She is always on time and she makes sure that you will understand everything!
Maria Gabriela B. Maria Gabriela B.

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You will speak Spanish from the very first day!

Want to know more? Contact me :)

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Carmen was punctual, had a stable internet connection and most importantly, was well prepared for the topic we chose to focuss on in advance. She did a good job of teaching it to me, I can really recommend her!
Carmen L. Carmen L.

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