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Modale verb (modal verbs) are essential to understand, learn, and use norsk. There are 5 modale verb i norsk: kan, vil, skal, må, bør (can, want, will, must, and should). For eksempel:
Jeg kan kaste ballen mot veggen (I can throw the ball against the wall).
Hun vil gå på ski i dag (She wants to go skiing today).
Vi skal lese avisen sammen (We are going to read the paper together).
De må komme hjem klokka fire (They must come home at 4 o’clock.
Du bør ikke være slem (You should not be mean).
Modal verbs, like all norske verbs, are not conjugated. There are essentially only two forms each of these 5 verbs come in: present and past. The past tense of these 5 verbs are as follows:
kunne, ville, skulle, måtte, burde.
Jeg kunne ha gjort det bedre (I could have done it better).
Han ville høre på musikk (He wanted to listen to music).
Vi skulle ha gått på kino (We should have gone to the movies).
De måtte ta eksamener (They had to take exams).
Du burde ha vært snill (You should have been nice).
Modal verbs are important because they set up the tone of a sentence. Can, want, will, must, and should are very different words with very different meanings. These verbs also have the ability to pair up with any other verbs. A very important thing to remember about modal verbs is that the ‘holy a’ å is not necessary. I will touch on this in another post, but for now, just remember that å is not used in between verbs if the first verb is a modal verb.
Study up on you modal verbs and how they are used because they are very important!