Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. newkeenlearner's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Pashto, Pushto
      • Home Country:
      • Afghanistan
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Apr 2017
    • Posts: 776
    #1

    Lat year Robert COULD beat his brother at chess. But he can't beat him now.

    "We use COULD to talk about things we are able to do generally. We don't normally use COULD for something that happend on a particular occasion in the past.We use was able to or managed to do"
    Source: "Oxford Practice Grammar "

    Now, in the same book, in the PRACTICE section, there was an example below:
    Last year Robert COULD beat his brother at chess. But he can't beat him now.

    I have a question: Why do the writer use 'COULD' instead of 'was able to' or 'managed to do something' , because the example above is not general situation it is a particular occasion.


    Lost of thanks.
    Last edited by newkeenlearner; 23-Apr-2017 at 06:27.

  2. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 12,374
    #2

    Re: Lat year Robert COULD beat his brother at chess. But he can't beat him now.

    It's a general situation because last year, for an extended period of time, it was normal for Robert to beat his brother. You'd need "was able to" if you mentioned a specific match.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. newkeenlearner's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Pashto, Pushto
      • Home Country:
      • Afghanistan
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Apr 2017
    • Posts: 776
    #3

    Re: Lat year Robert COULD beat his brother at chess. But he can't beat him now.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    You'd need "was able to" if you mentioned a specific match.
    Thanks.
    Could you please give an example?
    It's a general situation because last year, for an extended period of time, it was normal for Robert to beat his brother
    I feel that although that situation happened last year, it wasn't happening during a whole year. For example, every week, every month or every day.Playing chess and beating her brother just happened in a specific day of the year or a specific month of the year, not the whole year. That is why I think it is not a general situation.
    Last edited by newkeenlearner; 23-Apr-2017 at 06:37.

  4. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 26,709
    #4

    Re: Lat year Robert COULD beat his brother at chess. But he can't beat him now.

    Quote Originally Posted by newkeenlearner View Post

    I feel that ... it wasn't happening during a whole year.
    So far, the author, GS and I feel that it was.

    Also answered here.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 23-Apr-2017 at 08:33.

  5. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 12,374
    #5

    Re: Lat year Robert COULD beat his brother at chess. But he can't beat him now.

    Quote Originally Posted by newkeenlearner View Post
    Could you please give an example?
    "Robert was able to beat his brother at the chess club's March match last year. "

    Quote Originally Posted by newkeenlearner View Post
    I feel that although that situation happened last year, it wasn't happening during a whole year. For example, every week, every month or every day.Playing chess and beating her brother just happened in a specific day of the year or a specific month of the year, not the whole year. That is why I think it is not a general situation.
    In matches played last year, Robert beat his brother. He was able to win every match. Last year, Robert could beat his brother. (This year he can't; his brother has gotten a lot better!)
    I am not a teacher.

  6. newkeenlearner's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Pashto, Pushto
      • Home Country:
      • Afghanistan
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Apr 2017
    • Posts: 776
    #6

    Re: Lat year Robert COULD beat his brother at chess. But he can't beat him now.

    (This year he can't; his brother has gotten a lot better!)
    Was it right to use 'was able to' or 'managed to do' instead of 'could', if we left out the second sentence?
    If we have only this sentence: "Last year Robert COULD beat his brother at chess."

Similar Threads

  1. [Vocabulary] Off the beat
    By Arthur Schopenhauer in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-Jul-2015, 12:23
  2. Beat ...
    By Johnyxxx in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 17-May-2015, 21:22
  3. Beat it
    By Rok in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22-Apr-2013, 08:48
  4. look for a beat
    By ovvpapatya in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-Apr-2011, 11:24
  5. get beat out
    By Bushwhacker in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Oct-2009, 11:56

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •