Danish Modal Verbs

Danish Modal Verbs: can, must, want, should, etc.

kunne – be able to, can ville – to want to – to be allowed to — must, have to
present kan vil  får må/skal
past kunne   ville   fik

Just as in English, there is no past form of must.
You can either use var tvunget or blev nød til instead, as in jeg var tvunget til at … = I had to…

skulle – supposed to, will, should burde – should,  ought to pleje – usually, used to behøve – need to
present skal bør plejer behøver
past skulle burde plejede behøvede
Vi kan tale engelsk We can speak english
Han kunne ikke spille He could not play
Sven vil sove Sven wants to sleep
Hun vil have kaffe She wants coffee
Du må (gerne) ryge You may smoke
De må (skal) gå hjem nu They have to go home now
Du må ikke ryge You may not smoke
Jeg plejer at drikke kaffe efter frokost I usually drink coffee after lunch



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Dr. Jennifer Wagner

PhD in Applied Linguistics, ESL/French teacher, author of two French books, and helping others to learn languages online at ielanguages.com.