Preterite-Present VerbsEdit

Modal VerbsEdit

These are a sub-set of the preterite-present verbs, which can be used to tell a speaker's attitude towards what he's saying. They are used with the bare infinitive of the verb, as in English, German, Dutch, and other Germanic languages.

  • Modals:
  • durren - to dare to
  • kunnen - to know how to, be able to, can
  • magen - to be able to, can
  • moten - to have permission to, may, can
  • scullen - to be obligated to, ought, shall
  • þurfen - to need to
  • willen - to want to

You can see these verbs have a slightly different meaning from other Germanic languages, retaining their original meanings more clearly. This can be shown using an example:

  • Þu most Kwidden wreiten - you can write sentences (you have permission to write sentences)
  • Þu magst Kwidden wreiten - you can write sentences (you have the ability to write sentences)
  • Þu kannst Kwidden wreiten - you can write sentences (you know how to write sentences)

In Englisc, magen is the closest to the modern English "can, be able to" for translations.


  • agen - to own, possess, have, obtain; to give, deliver, restore (w.d. recipient); on Hand ~ to deliver in hand; ~ ut to find out
  • agen, ag, ahte, geagen


  • benugen - to need, want, require, enjoy; w.g.
  • benugen, benag, benohte, benogen


  • dugen - to avail, to be of use, able, fit, strong, vigorous, good, virtuous, honest, bountiful, kind, liberal
  • dugen, deag, dohte, gedogen


  • to dare to, presume to
  • durren, dorste, gedorren
_ sg. pl.
Ic darr durreþ
þu darrst durreþ
he/scie/it darr durreþ
_ sg. pl.
Ic dorste dorsten
þu dorstest dorsten
he/scie/it dorste dorsten

Subjunctive II

_ sg. pl.
Ic dœrste dœrsten
þu dœrstest dœrsten
he/scie/it dœrste dœrsten


  • gemunen - to remember, bear in mind, consider; w.g. and w.a.
  • gemunen, gemaan, gemunde, gemunen


  • genugen - to suffice, to be sufficient, not to be wanting
  • genugen, genag, genohte, genogen
  • Ex: þat genag, us to helpen.
_ sg. pl.
Ic genag genugeþ
þu genagst genugeþ
he/scie/it genag genugeþ
_ sg. pl.
Ic genohte genohten
þu genohtest genohten
he/scie/it genohte genohten

Subjunctive II

_ sg. pl.
Ic genœhte genœhten
þu genœhtest genœhten
he/scie/it genœhte genœhten


  • to be acquainted with, know (alone); ic ne kann þie Frowe I don't know that lady
  • to know how to, can, have power, be able (w.infin); ic kann þie twa Boek finden I can find the two books
  • Participles: kunnend, gekunnen/gekuþ
_ sg. pl.
Ic kann kunneþ
þu kannst kunneþ
he/scie/it kann kunneþ
_ sg. pl.
Ic kuðe kuðen
þu kuðest kuðen
he/scie/it kuðe kuðen

Subjunctive II

_ sg. pl.
Ic kyðe kyðen
þu kyðest kyðen
he/scie/it kyðe kyðen


  • to be strong, efficacious, to avail, prevail, be sufficient (alone); usre Friend mageþ us lytel our friends avail us little
    • magan to - to be good for, be the cause of, serve a purpose, have an effect; þat mæȝ to Naht that's good for nothing and 'him mæȝ to Sorge, þat to hieren' it causes him anxiety to hear that
    • magan wiþ - to prevail against (a disease), to be good for (some disease); Tylenol mæȝ wiþ Hefdecce Tylenol is good for headache.
    • magan wiþ - to have influence with (accusative); if ic mæȝ so well wiþ þic, þonn hu kannst þu mid her utgan? if I'm so influential with you, then how can you go out with her?
  • to be able to, can (because something is possible, or you have permission or power to)
  • Note: in certain dialects, this verb's infinitive is mugen, not magen. Their present plural is then mugeþ. A different dialect holds magen/mahte/gemaht as the verb, and the present as maag, maagst, mageþ
_ sg. pl.
Ic mæȝ mageþ
þu mæȝst mageþ
he/scie/it mæȝ mageþ
_ sg. pl.
Ic mohte mohten
þu mohtest mohten
he/scie/it mohte mohten

Subjunctive II

_ sg. pl.
Ic mœhte mœhten
þu mœhtest mœhten
he/scie/it mœhte mœhten


  • to be allowed to, have permission to, may
_ sg. pl.
Ic moot moteþ
þu mootst moteþ
he/scie/it moot moteþ
_ sg. pl.
Ic moste mosten
þu mostest mosten
he/scie/it moste mosten

Subjunctive II

_ sg. pl.
Ic mœste mœsten
þu mœstest mœsten
he/scie/it mœste mœsten


  • to be obliged to, shall
_ sg. pl.
Ic scall sculleþ
þu scallst sculleþ
he/scie/it scall sculleþ
_ sg. pl.
Ic scollde scollden
þu scolldest scollden
he/scie/it scollde scollden

Subjunctive II

_ sg. pl.
Ic scœllde scœllden
þu scœlldest scœllden
he/scie/it scœllde scœllden


  • to need to, must
_ sg. pl.
Ic þarf þurfeþ
þu þarfst þurfeþ
he/scie/it þarf þurfeþ
_ sg. pl.
Ic þorfte þorften
þu þorftest þorften
he/scie/it þorfte þorften

Subjunctive II

_ sg. pl.
Ic þœrfte þœrften
þu þœrftest þœrften
he/scie/it þœrfte þœrften



  • To want to, will


_ sg. pl.
Ic will willeþ
þu wist willeþ
he/scie/it will willeþ
_ sg. pl.
Ic wollde wollden
þu wolldest wollden
he/scie/it wullde wollden

Subjunctive II

_ sg. pl.
Ic wœllde wœllden
þu wœlldest wœllden
he/scie/it wœllde wœllden


  • witten - to know
  • witten, waat, wiste, gewitten


_ sg. pl.
Ic waat witteþ
þu waast witteþ
he/scie/it waat witteþ
_ sg. pl.
Ic wiste wisten
þu wistest wisten
he/scie/it wiste wisten

Subjunctive II

_ sg. pl.
Ic wisse wissen
þu wissest wissen
he/scie/it wisse wissen

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