Expressing uncertainty with modal auxiliaries.

Discussion in 'Nederlands (Dutch)' started by J.F. de TROYES, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. J.F. de TROYES Senior Member

    francais-France
    Modal verbs are commonly used to express various degrees of certainty from near certainty to uncertainty through possibility or probability. So in English :

    1 - She must be in her room
    2 - She can't be in her room
    3 - She should be in her room
    4 - She may be in her room
    5 - She could be in her room
    6- She might be in her room

    I think such gradations could be set up in French or German with müssen , dürfen, können, mögen, sollen.

    What about Dutch ? Is it possible to make out a similar kind of scale with verbs as moeten , zullen , kunnen or others ?

    Thanks a lot for your explanations.
     
  2. Peterdg

    Peterdg Senior Member

    Belgium
    Dutch - Belgium
    Yes, you can.

    1 - She must be in her room: ze moet (wel) in haar kamer zijn/ze zal wel in haar kamer zijn
    2 - She can't be in her room: ze kan niet in haar kamer zijn
    3 - She should be in her room: ze zou in haar kamer moeten zijn
    4 - She may be in her room: ze zou in haar kamer kunnen zijn
    5 - She could be in her room: idem als hiervoor
    6- She might be in her room: idem als hiervoor
     
  3. J.F. de TROYES Senior Member

    francais-France
    Crystal clear. Thanks a lot !
     

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