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Thread: Any difference

  1. Junior Member
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    Any difference

    Is there any difference in meaning when we use?
    1-My granny didn't speak French very well but she could/was able to communicate with our guests from France.
    2-Tarek couldn't/wasn't able to use computers at all until he took up a computer course.
    3-Captain Scott and his team could/was able to reach the Pole but they couldn't/wasn't able to come back.
    4- Einstein couldn't/wasn't able to speak until he was four or five but he could/ was able to count very quickly.

  2. mara_ce's Avatar
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    Re: Any difference

    *For general ability in the past we can use was able to though could is more common.
    e.g. I could/was able to swim when I was five years old.

    *For a specific event showing success after trying, we use was/were able to, managed to, succeeded in, but not could.
    e.g. I was able to/managed to solve her problems for her.

    I wouldn’t use could in sentence three.

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