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  5. "Δεν θα μπορούσα να πίνω κρασ…

"Δεν θα μπορούσα να πίνω κρασί."

Translation:I would not be able to drink wine.

December 29, 2016



I think it means: I would not be able to drink wine, and not: I was not able to drink wine (yesterday), nor: I am not able to drink wine (today).


I dont understand this sentence and the offered translation. Is it mean to be talking abotu the future of the present? Why is the θα there?


θα + imperfect tense is used to make the conditional.

μπορούσα = I could (indicative, simple past); I was able to

θα μπορούσα = I could (conditional); I would be able to

Or to take a verb where the distinction is clearer in English:

ήθελα = I liked

θα ήθελα = I would like


Thanks. Can you recommend an online grammar where I can find more examples of this θα + imperfect tense usage?


mizinamo's comment is good enough. Any examples you might see follow these rules.

(Θα έπαιζα=I would play, Θα έτρεχα=I would run)

(Δε θα μπορούσα ποτέ να το κάνω αυτό=I could never do that.)


These comments are really helpful. I am on level three of these exercises have have not got what was going on until I stumbled onto these comments on this example. This is a subject that really should have had some grammar notes. (For the new tree...)


It seems like there were no Tips and Notes for Modals in the first tree :/

In the second tree, we moved some of the lexemes of the modals and moved them to one Conditional skill (because we figured that, just like the Gerund, the term Modals doesn't really make sense in Greek). The Tips and Notes there are the same with the ones in the Conditional skill of tree 1, the very last skill of the course. They aren't extremely useful, they are certainly helpful, to some extent.

Rewriting all Tips and Notes is a process that takes quite a bit of time, and Conditional is one of the last grammar skills. Please, bear with us while we edit them. We do apologize for any inconvenience that is caused by the lack of Tips and Notes at this stage. Thank you for your comment, and your patience! ^.^

(Of course, when Tips and Notes for a skill are reedited, you won't have to wait until the next tree is released, if there is a corresponding skill in Tree 1. All additions become available in tree 2, but also tree 1, whenever that's possible.)


The conditional tense only really makes sense with another clause e.g. "If I were driving (subjunctive), I would not (conditional) be able to drink". Or in reported speech, "the man said that he will (future) not be able to drink" ......becomes " the man said that he would ( conditional) not be able to drink".


Why is "I will not be able to drink wine" wrong?

  • 111

If you see Lyazko's comment above, the phrase means "I would not be able to drink wine". It is not a simple future tense sentence. See also mizinamo's reply to mcampanella.

Μπορώ = I can, I am able (present)
Θα μπορώ = I will be able (future= Θα + present)
Μπορούσα = I was able (past continuous)
Θα μπρούσα = I would be able (Θα + past continuous)

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Because the Greek is not simple future θα μπορέσω "I will be able to..." but conditional θα μπορούσα "I would be able to ...".


Why is there a θα before μπορουσα ? It's just the past tense.


θα μπορούσα is the conditional: "I would be able to".

In general, the conditional is formed from θα + the παρατατικό (continual past tense): θα έλεγα "I would say", θα διάβαζα "I would read", θα έτρωγα "I would eat", θα είχα "I would have" etc.


Thanks! That's very helpful. They haven't introduced the conditional or the paratatiko yet! Perhaps that example slipped in by mistake.


My understanding is that the sentence should be translated as: "I would not have been able to drink wine."

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