Position of modal verbs in a sentence

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Position of modal verbs in a sentence

We generally use the modal verbs müssen (to have to/must), können (to be able to/can), dürfen (to be allowed to/may), wollen (to want to/intend), sollen (ought to/should), mögen (to like/may) with a second verb in the infinitive.

Ihr dürft kommen.

You are allowed to come.

Du sollst nach Hause gehen.

You ought to go home.

In the main clause the modal verb is conjugated after the subject, while the verb in the infinitive appears at the end of the sentence. Structure: subject + conjugated modal verb (+ additional information) + verb in the infinitive.

Ihr müsst aufstehen.

You need to get out of bed.

Betty kann nicht stricken.

Betty can't knit.

Magda und Sigi wollen das Hotel behalten.

Magda and Sigi want to keep the hotel.


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