sollen

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German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old High German sculan, skulan, from Proto-Germanic *skulaną. Cognate with English shall and should, Dutch zullen, Danish skulle.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈzɔlən/
  • (file)
  • (file)

Verb[edit]

sollen ‎(irregular, third-person singular simple present soll, past tense sollte, past participle gesollt, auxiliary haben)

  1. (auxiliary) should; to be obligated (to do something); ought; shall
    Ich soll das machen. — “I should do that.”
    Ich sollte das nicht tun. — “I should not do it.”
  2. (auxiliary) to be recommended (to do something); to be asked (to do something)
  3. (auxiliary) to be intended (to do something); to be meant (to be something)
  4. (auxiliary) to be said (to do something); reportedly; they say that; I hear that; so they say; rumor has it; supposedly.
    Es soll da viele Leute geben. — “They say that there are many people there.”
  5. (auxiliary, in a subordinate clause in the simple past tense) would; indicates that the subordinate clause indicates something that would happen in the past but after the time frame of the main clause
  6. (auxiliary, in a subordinate clause in the subjunctive) should; indicates that the subordinate clause indicates a hypothetical and unlikely condition for the main clause

Usage notes[edit]

  • Müssen expresses absolute necessity to do something, whereas sollen expresses less of a requirement.

Conjugation[edit]

When used as a modal auxiliary verb, the past participle is sollen.

Verb[edit]

sollen ‎(irregular, third-person singular simple present soll, past tense sollte, past participle gesollt, auxiliary haben)

  1. (transitive or intransitive) should do (something expressed or implied); to be asked to do (something); to be obligated to do (something); ought to do (something expressed or implied)
    Was sollen wir tun? — “What shall we do?”
    Soll ich? — “'Shall I?”
    Du hättest nicht gesollt. — “You shouldn't have.”

Conjugation[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

  • Sollen expresses moral duty or the suggestion that something ought to be done. Müssen can express the necessity of doing something, but also the moral duty. Both verbs can express a duty imposed by someone else. In this case müssen is stronger than sollen, implying that the imposing person has some kind of power to make the other really do it.

External links[edit]


Luxembourgish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *skulaną.

Verb[edit]

sollen ‎(past participle {{{1}}}, auxiliary verb hunn)

  1. to ought to, shall, should

Conjugation[edit]

This verb needs an inflection-table template.