[Grammar] could or was/were able to

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Joern Matthias

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1) If the aggressive dog in front of us could jump/was able to jump over the fence now, it would bite us.

2) If the professor in front of us could talk/was able to talk a bit more loudly now, it would be much easier to
hear him.

What would be correct to use in these 2 type two conditional sentences above in this context and wording? Are both versions possible or only 'was able to'- and why?

Greetings from near Munich

Joern:-D
 

probus

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Both are correct in both sentences. In the first sentence perhaps the dog cannot jump because he is tied up. The second sentence seems slightly odd, in that we normally have full control over how loudly we speak. One would normally expect would speak rather than could speak. But perhaps the professor has laryngitis.
 
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Joern Matthias

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
German
Home Country
Germany
Current Location
Germany
Both are correct in both sentences. In the first sentence perhaps the dog cannot jump because he is tied up. The second sentence seems slightly odd, in that we normally have full control over how loudly we speak. One would normally expect would speak rather than could speak. But perhaps the professor has laryngitis.

Hello probus,

Thanks a lot for your very helpful explanation and let us wish the professor a speedy recovery.:-D
 
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