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    Could/be able to

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    Could/be able to
    Message from blossom posted on 04-05-2018 at 20:48:00 (D | E | F)
    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)
    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)
    Here are a few more explanations:

    Re: Could/be able to from tanin5, posted on 11-05-2018 at 04:09:18 (D | E)
    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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