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  1. Banned
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    #1

    can/could vs. able to

    Which would you prefer in these sentences? Is the meaning the same?

    1 It was so dark that I even was not able to/could not see my own hands.

    2 No problem for me. I can/am able to do this job.

    3 It would be so nice if you could/were able to cook noodles for me now because I'm so exhausted from work.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: can/could vs. able to

    Quote Originally Posted by AirbusA321 View Post
    Which would you prefer in these sentences? Is the meaning the same?

    1. It was so dark that I even was not able to/ could not even see my own hands.

    2. No problem for me. I can /am able to do this job.

    3. It would be so nice if you could /were able to cook noodles for me now because I'm so exhausted from work.
    I prefer the alternative to "to be able to" in each case. I rarely use "to be able to" in a normal conversation in BrE.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Banned
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    #3

    Re: can/could vs. able to

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I rarely use "to be able to" in a normal conversation in BrE.
    But isn't it necessary to use it sometimes, e.g. in future tenses?
    Example:
    If you give me some money, I will be able to repair your car.

  4. VIP Member
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    #4

    Re: can/could vs. able to

    Yes, we have to use to be able to in compound tenses. (Southern AmE-speakers use some compound forms like "I used to could do that" but this is a nonstandard dialect.)
    I am not a teacher.

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