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Modal Spanish Verbs

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Very often in Spanish you'll find 2 verbs used together, in combinations. The first verb will be conjugated, whereas the 2nd verb remains in the infinitive form. For anyone trying to translate literally from English this can seem confusing! Look at the following example:

No puedo nadar

At first glance, it looks like the sentence is saying "I can't to swim" - when in reality it says "I can't swim". When verbs are used in modal verb combinations - the 2nd verb is not conjugated, but rather left in the infinitive form. You would never say "no puedo nado".

There are several key verbs used often as modal verbs - and it's a good idea to practice using them.

modal verbs in Spanish


Worksheet/Activity: Spanish Modal Verbs

Quiz: Modal Verbs in Spanish

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