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05/04/2016

FrenchandModalVerbs

FrenchandModalVerbs
Howtotranslatemodalslikecan,should,andmustintoFrench
ByLauraK.Lawless

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UpdatedDecember04,2014.

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Modalverbs,alsocalledmodalauxiliariesorsimplymodals,areunconjugatedEnglish
verbswhichexpressthemoodofaverb,suchasability,possibility,condition,and
necessity.Withtheexceptionof"ought,"modalsarefolloweddirectlybytheverbthey
modify(without"to"inbetween).TherearetencommonEnglishmodalverbs:
can
could
may
might
must
oughtto
shall
should

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will
would
Frenchdoesnothavemodalverbs,whichcanmakeitdifficulttotranslatethem.The
Frenchequivalentsofmodalverbsmaybeaconjugableverb(e.g.,pouvoir),aparticular
verbtenseormood,orevenanadverb.
can

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=pouvoir,savoir(inthepresenttense)

CommonFrenchMistakesand
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Icanhelpyou.
Jepeuxvousaider.

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Wecanseeit.
Nouspouvonslevoir.
Canyouswim?
Saistunager?

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could

Francophonie
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(inthepresent)=
pouvoir

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(intheconditional)

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Icoulddanceallnight.
CONTINUEREADINGBELOWOURVIDEO

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http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/frenchmodalverbs.htm

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05/04/2016

FrenchandModalVerbs

ExpertVideos

Jepourraisdanserpendanttoutelanuit.
Couldyouhelpme?
Pourriezvousm'aider?

could
(inthepast)=
pouvoir
(intheimperfect)
Hecouldeatalotofcandywhenhewasthree.
Ilpouvaitmangerbeaucoupdebonbonsquandilavaittroisans.
Lastyear,Icouldsleepuntilnooneveryday.
L'annedernire,jepouvaisdormirjusqu'miditouslesjours.

may/might
=
peuttre
,
pouvoir
(intheconditional),
sepouvoir
(inthepresent)
Shemay/mightarriveatnoon.
Ellearriverapeuttremidi,Ellepourraitarrivermidi,Ilsepeutqu'ellearrivemidi.

must
=devoir(presenttense)
Imustleave.
Jedoispartir.
Youmusthelpme.
Vousdevezm'aider.
http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/frenchmodalverbs.htm

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FrenchandModalVerbs

shall/will=Frenchfuturetense

Ishall/willhelpyou.
Jevousaiderai.
Hewillarriveatnoon.
Ilarriveramidi.

should/oughtto=devoir
(intheconditional)
Ishould/oughttoleavesoon.
Jedevraispartirbientt.
Youshould/oughttohelpme.
Vousdevriezm'aider.

would
(inthepresent)=
Frenchconditionalmood

Wewouldliketoleave.
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TranslatetoFrench

Nousvoudrionspartir.

IwouldhelpyouifIwereready.
Jevousaideraissij'taisprt.

would

(inthepast)=
Frenchimperfecttense

Hewouldalwaysreadwhenhewasalone.
Illisaittoujoursquandiltaitseul.
Lastyear,Iwouldsleepuntilnooneveryday.
L'annedernire,jedormaisjusqu'miditouslesjours.

Page2:
Modals+have+pastparticiple

http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/frenchmodalverbs.htm

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