Ability in the past
In this class we look at how to talk about things you did in the past, we practise using could, was able to and managed to.
Using could or couldn’t, lets us talk about abilities in the past.
I could play very well when I was younger.
I couldn’t read until I was 10.
I could go running everyday when I lived by the park.
Think of could/couldn’t like the past tense of can/can’t.
Successful/ unsuccessful moments
When we were able to do something successfully, once, we use was/were able to and managed to, to show success in an action.
I was able to run 100m in 12 seconds.
I managed to run 100m in 12 seconds.
We don’t use could/couldn’t to talk about single moments or successes.
If we want to talk about something we were unsuccessful at, we can use wasn’t/weren’t able to, didn’t manage to or couldn’t.
I wasn’t able to pass the exam.
She couldn’t go on vacation due to work.
They didn’t manage to find the correct part.