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What are modal verbs in Frisian?

Like many other languages, Frisian also has modal verbs, which are used to complement another verb, the action verb
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Like many other languages, Frisian also has modal verbs. Modal verbs are used in combination with another verb, the action verb. Here are some examples. “Ik kin net drave.” I cannot run. “Mei ik hjir sitte?” Can I sit here? “Sille we mei ús allen ite?” Shall we eat together?
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Now let’s look at the meaning of some modal verbs. In Frisian, there are five main modal verbs. “Kinne”, which expresses possibility, or ability. To be able to, can. “Moatte”, which expresses obligation. So to have to, or must. “Meie”, which expresses permission. To be allowed to, may. “Wolle”, which expresses desire. To want. And “sille”, which expresses a promise or an offer. Will, would, should, shall. Now the modal verbs are conjugated irregularly in the third person singular. They do not have a “t” at the end of the verb. “Hy kin, hy mei, hy moat, hy wol, hy sil.” The good news is, the rest of the verb is conjugated as a regular verb.
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Now the word order in a sentence with a modal verb
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is as follows: subject, modal verb, rest, action verb. For example, “Ik kin drave”, I can run. “Ik kin net drave”, I cannot run. “Ik wol ôfrekkenje”, I want to pay. “Ik wol graach ôfrekkenje”, I would like to pay. Now as you could see, the modal verb is always in the second position and the action verb is always at the end. In questions, the pronoun and the modal verb are swapped. “Mei ik sitte?” Can I sit? “Mei ik hjir sitte?” Can I sit here? “Sille we ite?” Shall we eat? “Sille we mei ús allen ite?” Shall we eat together? Finally, a few more examples from the dialogues. “Moatst skilderje?” Do you need to paint? “Wolst wat drinke?”
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Would you like something to drink? “Miskien kinst mei my rinne.” Maybe you can walk with me. “Mei dat?” Is that allowed?

Like many other languages, Frisian also has modal verbs. Find out what these are and how they are used in a sentence by watching the video above and reading the explanation below.

Modal verbs

Modal verbs are used to complement another verb, the action verb.

For example:

Ik kin net drave. I cannot run.
Mei ik hjir sitte? Can I sit here?
Sille we mei ús allen ite? Shall we eat together?

 

Meaning

In Frisian, there are five main modal verbs:

kinne possibility, ability (to be able to, can)
moatte obligation (to have to, must)
meie permission (to be allowed to, may)
wolle desire (to want)
sille promise, offer (will, would, should, shall)

 

Formation

Modal verbs are conjugated irregularly in the third person singular. They do not have a -t at the end of the verb: hy kin, hy mei, hy moat, hy wol, hy sil.

person/verb kinne meie moatte wolle sille
ik kin mei moat wol sil
do kinst meist moatst wolst silst
hy-sy/se-it kin mei moat wol sil
wy-we kinne meie moatte wolle sille
jim kinne meie moatte wolle sille
sy-se kinne meie moatte wolle sille
jo kinne meie moatte wolle sille

 

Word order

The word order in a sentence with a modal verb is as follows:

subject – modal verb – rest – action verb

For example:

Ik kin drave. I can run.
Ik kin net drave. I cannot run.
Ik wol ôfrekkenje. I want to pay.
Ik wol graach ôfrekkenje. I would like to pay.

 

Yes/no questions

The word order in a yes/no question with a modal verb is as follows:

modal verb – subject – rest – action verb

Mei ik sitte? Can I sit?
Mei ik hjir sitte? Can I sit here?
Sille we ite? Shall we eat?
Sille we mei ús allen ite? Shall we eat together?

 

Practise with Quizlet

To practise Frisian grammar, please visit our grammar section on modal verbs on Quizlet.

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Introduction to Frisian

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