Pouvoir, vouloir, devoir + infinitif

French Grammar (see all)

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Pouvoir, vouloir, devoir + infinitif

The verbs vouloir, pouvoir et devoir are often followed directly by an infinitive.

vouloir
Je veux dormir. I want to sleep.
Veux-tu sortir ce soir ? Do you want to go out tonight?

pouvoir
Il peut travailler. He can work.
Est-ce que je peux vous aider ? Can I help you.

devoir
Nous devons partir. We should leave.
Vous devez acheter un 2CV. You should buy a 2CV.

Note that when devoir is followed by a noun, it changes meaning:
Tu me dois 100 dollars. You owe me 100 dollars.


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