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  1. #1
    ophiuchus is offline Junior Member
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    Question Wrong sentence - why? :-(

    Hi,

    I'm working through a book with grammar exercises. I've been working on one of those exercises where you are given three endings to a sentence and one is wrong. There is a wrong ending - according to the key - where I can't make out why it is wrong:

    It was a shock when she didn't win the award but she could soon get over it.

    (the ending is in italics)

    Can anybody tell me why this ending is not correct?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    kazewolf is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Wrong sentence - why? :-(

    Not a teacher.
    It was a shock when she didn't win the award, but she could soon get over it.
    That's one error I found, the comma; maybe that's the cause? Reason is; 2 independent clauses should be joined by a comma and a co-ordinate conjunction. Not 100% sure though.

  3. #3
    Rolex_Cellini is offline Banned
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    Re: Wrong sentence - why? :-(

    It was a shock when she didn't win the award, but she could soon got over it soon.
    It was a shock when she didn't win the award, but soon she got over it.
    It was a shock when she didn't win the award, but she was able to get over it soon.

  4. #4
    ophiuchus is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Wrong sentence - why? :-(

    Thank you both. I think Rolex is on the right track. On the one hand, the other endings in the exercise have no comma, either, and they are also followed by a coordinate conjunction. On the other, the exercise is about the use of modal verbs.

    I understand that using "be able to":
    ... but she was able to get over it soon.
    you are speaking about past ability.

    However, you can also use could for past ability:
    I could swim when I was three.

    So, why not could here?
    One guess of mine is that perhaps in the first case (be able to) we are not only speaking about ability, but also about an achievement, the completion of something, but I don't know whether I'm right there.
    Any help?

    Thanks

  5. #5
    allenman is offline Member
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    Re: Wrong sentence - why? :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by ophiuchus View Post
    It was a shock when she didn't win the award but she could would soon get over it.
    When you are telling a historical fact you can't use "could" because it suggests an unknown possibility. Since you know what happened you should use "would" as it describes a future event described from the past.

    Not a teacher -- AmE natice

  6. #6
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Wrong sentence - why? :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by ophiuchus View Post
    Thank you both. I think Rolex is on the right track. On the one hand, the other endings in the exercise have no comma, either, and they are also followed by a coordinate conjunction. On the other, the exercise is about the use of modal verbs.

    I understand that using "be able to":
    ... but she was able to get over it soon.
    you are speaking about past ability.

    However, you can also use could for past ability:
    I could swim when I was three.

    So, why not could here?
    One guess of mine is that perhaps in the first case (be able to) we are not only speaking about ability, but also about an achievement, the completion of something, but I don't know whether I'm right there.
    Any help?

    Thanks
    You can't use 'could' in the past tense for a single specific action.
    "I could swim when I was three" is correct.
    "I saw a shark, but I could swim to shore before it bit me." is not correct. Here you have to use "was able to", or "managed to", or something else.

  7. #7
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: Wrong sentence - why? :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolex_Cellini View Post
    It was a shock when she didn't win the award, but she could soon got over it soon.
    It was a shock when she didn't win the award, but soon she got over it.
    It was a shock when she didn't win the award, but she was able to get over it soon.
    None of these is idiomatic. Please state that you are not a teacher, in accordance with the Notices above.

    'It was a shock when she didn't win the award but she would soon get over it' is probably what they are looking for if a modal verb is expected, but more natural is:

    'It was a shock when she didn't win the award but she soon got over it.'

    Rover

  8. #8
    ophiuchus is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Wrong sentence - why? :-(

    Thanks a lot everyone!

    phi

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