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16 votes
Accepted

Non-modal verbs as helping verbs (“I hear you coughing”)

The most direct equivalent to such constructions is an accusative-and-infinitive construction (AcI). It can be used with verbs of perception and similar and the subject of the action that is perceived ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 21.9k
13 votes

Why are there three verbs in a row?

One linguist once suggested analysing these sentences in terms of "multiplication" and "division", as if they were equations. Ich verstecke mich. | × kann Ich kann mich verstecken....
David Vogt's user avatar
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12 votes

Drei Verben in einem Nebensatz

Warum 3 Verben: Dürfen, Können sind neben anderen Modalverben, die in der Regel zusammen mit einem Verb verwendet werden: Ich darf eintreten. Werden ist ein Hilfsverb zur Bildung des Futur. ...
Thomas's user avatar
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11 votes
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Was ist der Unterschied zwischen "dürfen" und "können"?

In der Umgangssprache sind beide Versionen mittlerweile möglich und gebräuchlich. Es gibt dennoch einen Unterschied. Strenggenommen fragt darf nach der Erlaubnis etwas zu tun, während kann danach ...
mtwde's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

Finites Verb vor dem doppelten Infinitv

Prinzipiell gilt absteigende Reihenfolge. laut einer Studie, die demnächst veröffentlicht3 werden2 soll1 Das finite Verb kann vorangestellt werden. Gewünscht waren Fälle, in denen ein Modalverb ...
David Vogt's user avatar
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11 votes

How is the verb "sollen" normally conjugated

First of all: German tenses are very different from English tenses. German has only 6 tenses, English has 16. And German tenses are used very different. Gegenwart, a German tense similar to English ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
10 votes

gefallen v. mögen - what do I use?

Your teacher isn't wrong per se, but this distinction isn't followed that strictly in everday life. The two words have a slightly different focus. You might say, "mögen" puts the focus more ...
Henning Kockerbeck's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Three verbs in one sentence

"I want to swim" vs. "I want to go swimming" -- same thing. The difference is that strictly spoken in the first, you desire the action itself (as in, "I want to swim, not just only lie in the sun", ...
phipsgabler's user avatar
  • 5,317
10 votes
Accepted

lernen as a modal verb

The verb "lernen" is not a modal verb. German has 6 modal verbs, and they are: dürfen Ich darf schwimmen. - I may swim. können Ich kann schwimmen. - I can swim. mögen Ich mag ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Importance of “gerade” to express “just about to”

In general, being "just about to [do something]" means that the action is in the immediate future, not already ongoing. Possible translations would be "kurz davor sein, [etwas] zu [tun]&...
HalvarF's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

Word order with ‘leider’ at the beginning of a negated sentence

Both are correct, but they mean different things. Nicht always negates the part of the sentence that comes after it. So: Leider kann nicht ich kommen negates "ich": Unfortunately, it's not me who ...
dirkt's user avatar
  • 7,026
9 votes

Where's the other verb in "Darf ich bei euch mal auf Toilette?"?

It is a general fact about modal verbs in German that they can appear without a full verb when the meaning is a directed movement: Ich muss noch in die Stadt. (I must (go) to town) Wir wollen weg von ...
Alazon's user avatar
  • 4,147
8 votes
Accepted

Is it possible that there is no verb in a sentence?

Like in English, there are similar modal verbs (Modalverben) in German. These are dürfen, können, mögen, müssen, sollen und wollen. Mostly, they are "modelling" the main verb but it is also possible ...
Ad Infinitum's user avatar
  • 3,707
8 votes

Why are there three verbs in a row?

In addition to David Vogt's explanation: in English you can use the very similar word ordering with three "verbs" to the same meaning and similar reasoning (the 'to hide' and 'be able' are ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 10.8k
8 votes

Why does past turn into present when reformulating sentences using sollen in Subjective Bedeutung?

Es gab kurz vor der Trauung eine Beziehungskrise bei dem Prinzenpaar Es soll kurz vor der Trauung eine Beziehungkrise bei dem Prinzenpaar gegeben haben First off: these two sentences mean different ...
bakunin's user avatar
  • 9,296
8 votes

"sollten" (past) in the beginning of a conditional clause: why is it used, what is its meaning?

Here “sollten” isn’t past, it’s Konjunktiv II, “should they”. It makes it clearer than your suggestion (1) that this is only one possible outcome. On the other hand, “würden” in (2) makes it a ...
Carsten S's user avatar
  • 21k
7 votes
Accepted

Use of mögen vs gern

»Mögen« is a verb: Ich mag Kaffee. I like coffee. Ich mag es, Kaffee zu trinken. I like to drink coffee. But »gern« is an adverb: Ich trinke gerne Kaffee Verbatim: I gladly drink ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

"Zaubern mögen sie, soviel sie wollen"

Ah, Wiktionary, if only you were as accurate as you are confident when you say expresses a possibility, never a permission. DWDS says (and that entry is derived from WDG, a proper dictionary): 3. in ...
David Vogt's user avatar
  • 26.5k
7 votes

Tense or Mood? - "Das muss schwer für dich gewesen sein"

The finite verb is muss, which is 3rd person singular present indicative. Like all modal verbs, it combines with a bare infinitive, sein, which in this example combines with a past participle gewesen ...
David Vogt's user avatar
  • 26.5k
7 votes
Accepted

Konnte nicht vs hätte nicht können

In dem ersten Fall warst du kurz davor es zu tun, hast es dann aber doch nicht getan. Im zweiten Fall kam es gar nicht erst soweit. Du wurdest also gar nicht erst auf die Probe gestellt. Ein Beispiel: ...
Ahrtaler's user avatar
  • 320
6 votes

"zu" + Infinitiv — Warum wird "zu" trotz Modalverb verwendet?

Mit Modalverben muss man kein „zu“ mit dem zweiten Verb verwenden, zB: „Ich kann essen“ gegen „Ich versuche zu essen“ Aber Modalverben haben keine Wirkung auf ihre eigene grammatische Funktion. ...
Wynne Plaga's user avatar
6 votes

“muss” with an object

Dich is not an object of musste but of haben. The same occurs in the (literal) English translation¹: I had to always have you, Jesus. Here you is the object of have and not of had to. What might ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 21.9k
6 votes

Can someone help me about using the „zu“?

Your first example is correct. Ich hoffe, meine Schwester wiederzusehen. Your second isn't. The alternatives are Ich hoffe, dass ich meine Schwester wiedersehe. Ich hoffe, dass ich meine Schwester ...
Janka's user avatar
  • 62k
6 votes
Accepted

partizip 2 lassen usage

The sentence can be derived like this, by adding one verb at a time: Die Alarmglocken schrillen auf. Das läßt die Alarmglocken aufschrillen. (lassen + Infinitiv; "kausativ") Das muß die ...
David Vogt's user avatar
  • 26.5k
6 votes

'wollen' said of inanimate objects ordinarily without volition

German speakers do not hesitate to assign objects a will of their own. Das Motorrad wollte nicht so wie ich. Deshalb lieg' ich jetzt im Krankenhaus. Of course, it wasn't the motorbike but the ...
Janka's user avatar
  • 62k
6 votes

Die Fenster dürfen nicht geklettert sein?

With the edit, the straight-forward translation seems to be: Nicht aus den Fenstern klettern! This would be the appropriate text for a warning sign, to discourage a behavior which one might try ...
guidot's user avatar
  • 28.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Use of „als wolle“ in imaginary comparisons

This is nothing special or unusual. It just is Konjunktiv I. You use it in these situations: indirect speech Tom twittert, er tränke gerade ein Bier. Lisa sagt häufig, sie ginge gar nicht so gern ...
Hubert Schölnast's user avatar
6 votes

Ich muss eingeschlafen sein. Why is the sentence built this way?

It's built that way because it's the correct way to have a present modal verb (muss) with a present perfect infinitive (eingeschlafen sein). Ich bin eingeschlafen translates to I have fallen asleep (...
amadeusamadeus's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

what does "ich habe können" mean in Brecht, Berlin dialect?

Ich hab(e) können is the perfect of können, with Ersatzinfinitiv können instead of the expected past participle gekonnt. Whether Ersatzinfinitiv occurs or not is subject to some variation; when ...
David Vogt's user avatar
  • 26.5k
5 votes
Accepted

“muss” with an object

The song is clearly about a person who talks to Jesus and tells him that he always has, does and always will need Jesus to guide his way: Ich brauch dich allezeit, führ mich nur, wie du willst; ich ...
Thorsten Dittmar's user avatar

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