Modal verb acting as a standard verb?

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R@re!
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Modal verb acting as a standard verb?

Postby R@re! » 2020-03-31, 16:50

Die Person nach mir kann Finnisch sprechen.(wrong answer)
:arrow: Die Person nach mir kann Finnisch.

A german speaking person on this forum pointed out that the first sentence is wrong. My question is, are there other cases in which the modal verb can replace the standard verb?

kevin
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Re: Modal verb acting as a standard verb?

Postby kevin » 2020-03-31, 22:07

"...kann Finnisch sprechen" isn't strictly wrong, it's just not what we use to express that someone has knowledge of the language. It would more specifically refer to speaking the language (as opposed to reading/writing/listening).

I'm sure there are more cases, but another one that comes to mind is when you leave out a verb like "gehen" (or any other verb of motion) when you just specify a location/direction:

Wir können zur Zeit nicht ins Ausland.
Ich muss heim.
Willst du auch hin?
Darf er mit?

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Re: Modal verb acting as a standard verb?

Postby R@re! » 2020-04-01, 13:27

kevin wrote:"...kann Finnisch sprechen" isn't strictly wrong, it's just not what we use to express that someone has knowledge of the language. It would more specifically refer to speaking the language (as opposed to reading/writing/listening).

I'm sure there are more cases, but another one that comes to mind is when you leave out a verb like "gehen" (or any other verb of motion) when you just specify a location/direction:

Wir können zur Zeit nicht ins Ausland.
Ich muss heim.
Willst du auch hin?
Darf er mit?


Thanks!

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Re: Modal verb acting as a standard verb?

Postby linguoboy » 2020-04-01, 13:49

kevin wrote:I'm sure there are more cases, but another one that comes to mind is when you leave out a verb like "gehen" (or any other verb of motion) when you just specify a location/direction:

Wir können zur Zeit nicht ins Ausland.
Ich muss heim.
Willst du auch hin?
Darf er mit?

This used to be allowable in English, too. In Shakespear's Macbeth you find the exchange:

Malcolm: I’ll to England.
Donalbain: To Ireland, I.

In both sentences, "go" is understood. (In the second, "will" is as well, which is a bit poetic.}
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons


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