1 Mogućnosti / Possibilities
2 Saveti / Advice
Svi modali / All modals
Diskusije / Discussions

1 – Mogu, ali ne moram / I can, but I don’t have to

🇷🇸 Mogu, ali ne moram

🇬🇧 I can, but I don’t have to

Morati is a regular verb and belongs to A group of verbs so it’s conjugated regularly. It’s used to talk about obligation. It means must, have to, or need to.

  • Ljudi moraju da rade
    People must work, they have to work.

When negated, this verb actually means that you have a choice, you don’t have to. It doesn’t mean mustn’t.

  • Ana ne mora da radi, njen muž zarađuje dovoljno.
    Ana doesn’t have to work, her husband earns enough.

 

Moći is an irregular verb. We use it to express the possibility, what we can do if we want. With this verb, we talk about our ability, capability, or circumstances that allow us to do something.

  • Jovana može da putuje u Egipat, ima novac.
    Jovana can travel to Egypt, she has the money.

Negated, it shoes impossibility, what we’re unable to do.

  • Miloš ne može da putuje, mora da radi.
    Miloš cannot travel, he has to work.

We can also express forbiddance and that’s very typical for children and parents.

  • „Mama da li mogu napolje?“„Ne možeš.“
    Mama can I go outside? –  You can’t, you’re not allowed.

We use „Ne mogu“ for refusing an offer politely, for example:

  • „Hoćeš kafu“? – „Ne mogu, hvala.“
    Do you want some coffee? – No, thank you.

 

Moći is an irregular verb, but it belongs to the E group. It’s very simillar to the verb hteti. They both end in -U in the first person singular in the present tense: ja hoću i mogu (I want and I can).

These are the only two verbs in the Serbian language that end in -U in the first person singular.

Remember: Hteti has the same forms for the third person singular and the third person plural, on hoće i oni hoće. When negated, it merges with the negation particle ne: neće.

Moći has the same forms for the first person singular and for the third person plural, ja mogu i oni mogu (I can and they can). The other forms are regular, just the stem changes slightly. It has a regular negation: simply put ne before the verb.

 

Verb moći expresses possibility, but also probability.

If we say, „Sanja može da ide u bioskop večeras“ (Sanja can go to the cinema tonight) that’s a possibility: she can if she wants to.

If we say, „Sanja možda ide u bioskop večeras“ (Sanja perhaps goes to the cinema tonight), that’s probability. We don’t know if she’ll go or not, she may go. We’re not sure.

 

Možda (maybe, perhaps) is an expression that originated from može + da. It can be replaced with može biti, so it’s the same as maybe or can be, it’s possible.

Može means ’it can’. It’s third-person singular of the present tense of the verb moći. We also use this word as an expression meaning ok, alright.

  • Može kafa? – Može!
    Would you like some coffee? – Yes!
  • Hoćeš da gledamo film? – Može!
    Wanna watch a movie? – Sure!

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