What is a modal verb?

Modal verbs – Modalverben – are a special group of verbs.

Use them to say:

UsageGermanEnglish
what you must domüssento have to, must
what you are able to dokönnento be able to, can
what you want to dowollento want (to)
what you are supposed to do/what you should do/what you ought to do (It often means 'shall', eg shall/should I help you?) sollento be supposed to, ought, should
what you may do/what you are allowed to dodürfento be allowed to, may
what you likemögento like