Modal Verb “können”

“Können” translates to “can” in English, and it’s a modal verb used to indicate various shades of ability, permission, or possibility. It’s an essential component of German grammar, particularly for expressing capabilities or potential actions.

Personal PronounConjugationExampleMeaning
IchkannIch kann schwimmen.I can swim.
DukannstDu kannst Deutsch sprechen.You can speak German.
Er / Sie / EskannEr kann gut kochen.He can cook well.
WirkönnenWir können tanzen.We can dance.
IhrkönntIhr könnt schnell rennen.You (plural) can run fast.
Sie / siekönnenSie können singen.They/You (formal) can sing.

How to Use It: To form a sentence with “können”, follow this pattern:

Subject + Modal Verb “können” + Rest of Sentence + Infinitive Verb

Example:

  • Ich kann singen. (I can sing.)
  • Sie kann gut kochen. (She can cook well.)

In these examples, “können” is conjugated according to the subject (ich, du, sie, etc.), while the main verb appears in its infinitive form (sing, kochen).

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