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  1. newkeenlearner's Avatar
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    #1

    When I was little, my family and I used to go to the seasides.

    Hi again,
    I would like to talk about the possible thing in the past. I think I know that I can't use 'COULD', so are these following choices correct?


    "When I was little, my family and I used to go to the seasides. We often rented a holiday flat by the see, so we were able to/managed to go for a walk along the beach everyday."



    lots of thanks.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: When I was little, my family and I used to go to the seasides.

    Quote Originally Posted by newkeenlearner View Post
    Hi again,
    I would like to talk about the possible thing possibility in the past. I think I know that I can't use 'COULD', so are these following choices correct?

    "When I was little, my family and I used to go to the seasides seaside. We often rented a holiday flat by the see sea, so we were able to/managed to go for a walk along the beach everyday every day."

    lots of Many thanks.
    Neither of your choices is as natural as "could". "Were able to" is just about OK. "Managed to" has a completely different meaning. Why do you think you can't use "could" there? It works well.

    I rented a car so I could drive to see my parents.
    We often stayed in a beachfront hotel so we could walk on the beach every day.

    Note my various corrections above.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. newkeenlearner's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: When I was little, my family and I used to go to the seasides.

    Why do you think you can't use "could" there?
    I get really confused.
    In Oxford Practice Grammar :
    "We don't normally use COULD for something that happened on a particular occasion in the past. We use was able to and managed to."

    "We use COULD to talk about things we were able to do generally in the past: I COULD run 100 meters in 12 seconds when I was young. She COULD read when she was only three."


  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: When I was little, my family and I used to go to the seasides.

    Well, you've answered your own question. It says we can use "could" for things we generally did in the past. By saying "We often rented a holiday flat by the sea", you have demonstrated a general action.

    However, I have to disagree with the Oxford Practice Grammar. In BrE, we certainly use "could" related to single actions in the past. My first example sentence in post #2 demonstrates that. It would be unnatural for me to say "I rented car so that I was able to visit my parents".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. newkeenlearner's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: When I was little, my family and I used to go to the seasides.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Well, you've answered your own question. It says we can use "could" for things we generally did in the past. By saying "We often rented a holiday flat by the sea", you have demonstrated a general action.
    Thanks teacher for your explanations.
    If I change my original sentence to the following, is "were able to" work , too?

    "When I was little, my family and I go to the seasides in Italy. We rented a holiday flat by the see, so
    we were able to/managed to go for a walk along the beach everyday."

    However, I have to disagree with the Oxford Practice Grammar. In BrE, we certainly use "could" related to single actions in the past. My first example sentence in post #2 demonstrates that. It would be unnatural for me to say "I rented car so that I was able to visit my parents".
    I have almost 5 grammar books. In all of them they state the same rule for using "could" as Oxford states.

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    #6

    Re: When I was little, my family and I used to go to the seasides.

    Seaside is singular. See is a verb. Can you find the errors regarding these words in your sentences?
    I am not a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: When I was little, my family and I used to go to the seasides.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    In BrE, we certainly use "could" related to single actions in the past.
    Not if we actually carried out the single action

    My first example sentence in post #2 demonstrates that. It would be unnatural for me to say "I rented a car so that I was able to visit my parents".
    Yes, but you can say "I rented a car so that I would be able to visit my parents", which is the way I interpreted your sentence.

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    #8

    Re: When I was little, my family and I used to go to the seasides.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Not if we actually carried out the single action
    I forgot to turn off the stove! How could you?

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