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Lesson 4 - 5

Modal verbs

"Modal verbs" sounds like something difficult, but it's not. The modal verbs are used as the first of two combined verbs, and they work exactly like "like" and "love" in the previous examples, with one exception: you don't use the infinitive marker.

We can have a look at some examples from English:

We must win this game!

This will be the best vacation ever!

As you see, we have combinations of two verbs, without "to" between them.

Now we'll give you some Norwegian modal verbs. We don't really need them in infinitive yet (since a modal verb is rarely used in infinitive), so you'll have them only in the present tense, which is the tense we'll be working with. Be aware that the English translations aren't always modal verbs in English.

want to vil
must / have to
can kan

This gives us the following examples:

I want to eat fish. =  Jeg vil spise fisk

You have to (must) learn Norwegian. = Du lære norsk.

We can speak Norwegian. = Vi kan snakke norsk.

It's the same as before, you just have to skip the "å" when the verb is modal.


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