Ability in the past

In this class we look at how to talk about things you did in the past, we practise using  couldwas 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 todidn’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.

Which sentence is correct?.

I ______ to finish the work.

I _____ jump so high in the past.

I ______ go to the meeting as I was sick.

Your grade is: __

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put some of your new grammar into action