Englisch/Grammatik/Modal verbs

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Modalverben (engl. modal auxiliaries) sind Hilfsverben, die zum Ausdruck einer Modalität – d. h. im Wesentlichen: Begriffen von Notwendigkeit oder Möglichkeit – dienen.

Can I go to the toilet?

You may,

- if you can.


Perhaps he is coming with us.

He might come with us.


I must remember to say thank you!

I mustn't forget to say thank you.

Diese Hilfsverben bleiben immer in ihrer Form, können allerdings auch nicht in den verschiedenen Zeiten verwendet werden. Dafür gibt es Ersatzformen.

Ersatzformen

can - be able to

Anstelle von can kann man auch die Ersatzform be able to verwenden, wenn man die Fähigkeit (ability) betonen möchte.

Anwendungsfälle

  • nach einem anderen Modalverb:

He won’t be able to run every day.

She won’t can run.

He should be able to finish the marathon.


  • in anderen Zeiten

He was able to finish the marathon in a personal best.


  • förmlicher

I am very sorry but I am not able to help you in the test.

can - be allowed to

Das Hilfsverb can kann aber auch eine Erlaubnis (permission) ausdrücken. Hierfür wird die Ersatzform be allowed to verwendet.

We were allowed to stay up late.


We won't be allowed to do it again.


Achtung
Bei einem ausdrücklichen Verbot würde man mustn't verwenden:


We mustn't do it again.

must - mustn't - needn't

Das Hifsverb must drückt einen Zwang aus - seine Verneinung mustn't ein Verbot. Das deutsche „nicht müssen“ wird mit needn't übersetzt.

You must keep it a secret.

(it is necessary that you do it)


You mustn’t tell anybody.

(it is necessary that you don´t do it)


You needn’t visit me in the hospital.

(it is not necessary that you do it)


must - have to

Das Hilfsverb must bleibt unverändert. Um andere Zeiten auszudrücken, muss die Ersatzform have to verwendet werden.

He must keep it a secret.

He had to be quiet untill the bell rang.

In the next test you will have to work more!

Do we have to wait inside?

Interaktive Übungen

be able to

Move the words into the gaps.

Tom's alarm didn't ring but he was able to get to the bus stop in time. His friend Tim was already waiting for him.

When they got on the bus they were able to get a seat.

Tim told him that he had saved his money. "Next week I will be able to buy the new album."

Put in the correct forms of be able to .

One morning I got up but I wasn't able to move (not, move) my arm. So I called the doctor's office.

Luckily I was able to get (get) an appointment for the next day.

The doctor wasn't able to find (not, find) anything.

"Next week you will be able to write (write) the test.


be allowed to

Put in the correct forms of to be allowed to.

Last week the pupils of class 8c were allowed to go to Mc Donald's. Some ordered a big box of chicken. Others just wanted to use the bathroom but they weren't allowed to.

"If you buy something, I' ll give you the code. I 'm not allowed to let non-customers in."