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    #1

    could

    Hi,

    1- Michael: ''With a burst of adrenaline, people can pick up cars''.

    a) Michael said that with a burst of adrenaline, people could pick up cars.
    b) Michael said that with a burst of adrenaline, people were able to pick up cars.

    (I think both are OK, but I am not sure whether we can turn 'can' into 'were able to' in reported speech because in the first sentence is constructed with 'can'.

    2- I know you can lift the couch by yourself.
    I knew you could lift the couch by yourself.

    (In this example, ''could' is used as the past tense of ‘can’ '', for this reason we can use 'could' in 'ability during a specific event', that is, although it is not a 'general ability'.

    Could you please chech my knowledge about 'could and was/were able to' ?

    Thanks.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: could

    Quote Originally Posted by aysaa View Post
    1- Michael: ''With a burst of adrenaline, people can pick up cars''.

    a) Michael said that with a burst of adrenaline, people could pick up cars.
    b) Michael said that with a burst of adrenaline, people were able to pick up cars.
    In this case, 'were able to' is not appropriate. It would suggest that the people actually did lift the cars. You could use 'would be able to'.

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    #3

    Re: could

    Thanks you 5jj for the answer , but what about the second one? Is it OK?

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    #4

    Re: could

    Yes.

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