Modal verb – verbe modal
Let's Define It!
What's a *modal verb*?
Generally speaking, the French language has two auxiliary verbs: avoir and être.
However, there are other verbs which play more or less the same functions auxilairy verbs do -- (and if you're not sure what an auxiliary verb does, I'll just say that it helps conjugate another verb).
So these verbs other than être / avoir but acting just like them, we call them modal verbs (or verbes modaux in French -- un verbe modal in the singular).
Verbs such as pouvoir, devoir, vouloir are modal verbs. Usually, they precede an infinitive and express a particular mood (hence modal verb).
Let's Pronounce It!
What does it sound like in French?
Let's Have an Example or Two!
Can a little reinforcement do the trick?
Find below some sentences using modal verbs to conjugate other verbs. I will underline the modal verbs for your convenience.
Il ne pouvait jamais finir son travail à temps . He was never able to finish his work on time.
Je dois aller chez moi maintenant. I must go home now.
Vous saurez nager bientôt. You will know how to swim soon.