can/could vs. able to

AirbusA321

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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.
 

emsr2d2

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

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

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

3. It would be so nice if you could [STRIKE]/were able to[/STRIKE] 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.
 

AirbusA321

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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.
 

GoesStation

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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.)
 
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