BAD: As I've already mentioned, I could learn a great deal during the two years I spent in England.
GOOD: As I've already mentioned, I was able to learn a great deal during the two years I spent in England.
BAD: By reading quickly, I could finish the book before the library closed.
GOOD: By reading quickly, I managed to finish the book before the library closed.
When talking about a skill or general ability in the past, use could or be able to : 'By the time she was four, she could/was able to swim the whole length of the pool.'
When talking about a single event in the past, we usually use be able to or manage (NOT could ): 'Luckily, we managed to get there before the shops closed.' 'Were you able to start the car?'
See also ABLE 2 (↑able)
SEE POSSIBLE 2
Find a translation for common error "Could" in other languages:Want to translation into your language always showing? Log in and set your language in your profile Please, keep in mind it's machine translation (MT), and not a perfect translation. Just help you to understand the meaning.