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  1. #1
    ambitious-girl's Avatar
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    She was able to leave work early yesterday

    Which is closer to the meaning of the sentence 'She was able to leave work early yesterday.'?

    a) She left work early yesterday.
    b) She had the opportunity to leave work early yesterday, but we don't know if she took it.

    Could someone please tell me which one is correct?

    Source: Oxford Practice Grammar. The topic of a lesson was about "can/could/be able to".
    Last edited by ambitious-girl; 03-Jul-2017 at 18:30.

  2. #2
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    Re: She was able to leave work early yesterday

    The answer is b).

  3. #3
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: She was able to leave work early yesterday

    Definitely B.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: She was able to leave work early yesterday

    I agree with Piscean that both are possible, but without any further context, I would go for b).

  5. #5
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    Re: She was able to leave work early yesterday

    I also got for b), but the answer in the book is a). Thanks all for all your helpful and informative information.

  6. #6
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    Re: She was able to leave work early yesterday

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I didn't think Mary would make it to the station in time, but she did. She was able to leave work early. So, thanks to her kind boss, we were able to catch the early train.

    That seems to be a context for (a).
    Thanks teacher. So helpful example, and in your example, "be able to" means to have ability". However, "b" means an opportunity.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: She was able to leave work early yesterday

    Quote Originally Posted by ambitious-girl View Post
    I also got for b), but the answer in the book is a). Thanks all for all your helpful and informative information.
    Exams are tested with many before they are released because answers that may seem clear to the person writing the question are sometimes less clear to the audience. That shouldn't undermine your faith in a book unless they keep doing it.

  8. #8
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    Re: She was able to leave work early yesterday

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Exams are tested with many before they are released because answers that may seem clear to the person writing the question are sometimes less clear to the audience. That shouldn't undermine your faith in a book unless they keep doing it.
    Thanks teacher for sharing your helpful tip with me. You are right. I felt so happy when I found that almost all, like me, went for answer b).

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