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Modal Verbs Part 1 Possibilities

edited August 2016 in German
Now that we have discussed the verbs "to be" and "to have", the next categories of verbs designed to extend your speaking capabilities are modal verbs. 
In fact, they are so helpful that they are frequently referred to as modal auxiliary verbs. 

With modal verbs, you can express necessity or possibility. The most important ones in German are dürfen, können, mögen, wollen, müssen and sollen. The first three are possibilities, the latter ones necessities. 
Modal verbs do not have to, but like to be combined with another verb in the infinitive form and take the weight of the conjugation. 

For instance:
Ich darf schwimmen     (I am allowed to swim)
Ich kann schwimmen    (I can swim)
Ich mag schwimmen.    (I like to swim)

Do you notice that schwimmen does not change? With the use of modals it does not need to.

So once you learn how to conjugate these modals, all you need to do is add another verb in its infinitive which means you do not even have to conjugate it. The possibilities become endless as a result.

1. person      ich darf       ich kann     ich mag
2. person      du darfst     du kannst   du magst
3. person      er  darf        sie kann     es mag


1. person     wir dürfen    wir können    wir mögen
2. person     ihr dürft        ihr könnt       ihr mögt
3. person     sie dürfen    sie können    sie mögen
Polite          Sie dürfen    Sie können    Sie mögen

Pop quiz.
How do you translate "Italians can cook"?

Isn't that neat?

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