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See also: konen


Low GermanEdit


From Middle Low German kȫnen, alternative form of künnen, from Old Saxon kunnan, from Proto-Germanic *kunnaną, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵneh₃-. Compare Low German kunnen, German können, English can, Danish kunne.



könen (third-person singular simple present kann, past tense kunn, past participle kunnt, auxiliary verb hebben)

  1. (auxiliary, modal) can, to be able to
    He kann goot rennen, wieldat he en professionelle Sportmann weer.
    He can run well, because he was a professional sportsman.
  2. to be able to do
    Ik kann dat nich.
    I am not able to do that.
  3. to know or be able
    Wi köönt all Engelsch un Hoochdüütsch.
    We can all speak English and High German.

Usage notesEdit

  • This verb can also appear as künnen or können in different dialects, the former being more often encountered than the latter.
  • Singular forms of könen are identical stems with a change of vowel (öö becoming a), plural forms of könen are conjugated in the way regular Low German verbs are conjugated, and the past tense is conjugated in an irregular manner with the same vowel through the line. In its conjugation this verb shows similarities with mögen and schölen, and is more distantly related to the German and Dutch variants of this verb: können and kunnen.
  • The old subjunctive II form künn is sometimes used with the meaning "could".


Derived termsEdit




  1. definite plural of kön