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Could/be able to

Forum > English only || Bottom

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Could/be able to
Message from blossom posted on 04-05-2018 at 20:48:00 (D | E | F)
Hello,
I just had some quiz about 'could' and 'be able to' and there are two sentences I don't understand.

1. We weren't able to finish all the meal.
- 'couldn't' can't be replaced instead of 'weren't able to' ?

2. We couldn't catch the 7.30 train.
- I thought 'weren't able to ' would be also correct in this sentence but it's not. why?

Could anyone explain for this??
Thanks for any reply.

-------------------
Edited by lucile83 on 04-05-2018 22:25


Re: Could/be able to from jade77, posted on 05-05-2018 at 23:45:50 (D | E)
Hello,
To my knowledge "could" and "be able to" are interchangeable in case of negative sentences .
But I would say that "wasn't /weren't able to" is more expressive when we talk about very specific things to us that we couldn't achieve .



Re: Could/be able to from willy, posted on 06-05-2018 at 16:44:29 (D | E)
Hello,
Here are a few more explanations:
Link




Re: Could/be able to from tanin5, posted on 11-05-2018 at 04:09:18 (D | E)
Hello!
They often have the same meaning. Can is preferred in the sense of ( know how to)
Can you knit? ( more natural than Are you able to knit?)
I can see a ship. ( more natural than I am able to see a ship.)
Be able to is used in cases(eg. future, present perfect) where can or could is not grammatically possible because it has no infinitive or participle.
We will be able to find a cure for cancer in near future.
Be able to is especially used when we are talking about people's ability. Henry is able to lift 100 kilos.
Best regards



Re: Could/be able to from mehrab90, posted on 13-05-2018 at 23:58:10 (D | E)
Hello. I join this site today. Its very useful website. Thank you for helping each other




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