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PIE root

From Middle Dutch connen, cunnen, from Old Dutch kunnan, from Proto-Germanic *kunnaną, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵneh₃-.



  1. (auxiliary) can, to be able to
    Hij kon goed rennen, omdat hij een getraind sportbeoefenaar was.
    He could run well, because he was a trained sportsman.
  2. (transitive) to be able to do, to be capable of
    Ik kan dat niet.
    I am not able to do that.
  3. (intransitive) to be available (for any type of meeting or appointment)
    Ik kan morgenavond niet.
    I will not be available tomorrow night.
  4. (intransitive) to be possible
    Dat kan niet.
    That is not possible.


Inflection of kunnen (preterite-present)
infinitive kunnen
past singular kon
past participle gekund
infinitive kunnen
gerund kunnen n
verbal noun
present tense past tense
1st person singular kan kon
2nd person sing. (jij) kunt, kan kon
2nd person sing. (u) kunt, kan kon
2nd person sing. (gij) kunt kondt
3rd person singular kan kon
plural kunnen konden
subjunctive sing.1 kunne konde
subjunctive plur.1 kunnen konden
imperative sing. kan
imperative plur.1 kunt
participles kunnend gekund
1) Archaic.

Derived terms[edit]




  1. Obsolete plural form of kan, present tense of kunna. 2nd person only
    Och om I gören gott mot dem som göra eder gott, vad tack kunnen I få därför?
    And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? (Luke 6:33)