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  5. "I could not drink wine."

"I could not drink wine."

Translation:Δεν θα μπορούσα να πίνω κρασί.

February 10, 2017

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kavafy

"Δεν μπορούσα να πίνω κρασί" is correct and should not be marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iris69027

I answered δεν μπορούσα να πίνω κρασί, why does it tell me to insert θα before μπορούσα?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim368909

I answered same and marked wrong. Is there a grammar rule at play here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/involans

as far as I can tell, this exercise insists on the conditional sense of could (as in 'even if I wanted to') vs. the past tense sense of could (as in 'because I was on antibiotics'). These cannot be distinguished in English without context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G.Georgopoulos

Yes, the exercise here is about the conditional. The other translation we have is probably easier for everyone to grasp - "I would not be able to drink wine".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bohuslav1

In that case the main English sentence is wrong. "I could not drink wine" means "I was not able to drink wine". It does not mean "I would not be able to drink wine" at all. The negative rules out the conditional sense.

If you write it in contracted form "I couldn't drink wine" it becomes clear that this is not a conditional.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theo635631

Check out these examples of this sentence with more context added though.

Example 1 PersonA-"You are going to fall asleep if you drink wine." PersonB-"I could not drink wine."

Example 2 "I could not drink wine. I had fallen asleep."

One is future tense as a conditional statement and the other is past tense. I think they should both be marked correct without the added context, because even if the original excersize comes from the paticular tense skill section, you could still get the sentence in generic practice mode (which is how I got here).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bohuslav1

No - "I could drink wine" may be conditional or past, "I could not drink wine" can only be past. Your example 1 is not a negative conditional for "could", because the "not" is linked to "drink". It is a colloquial construct meaning "I could get round the problem by not drinking wine" / "I could avoid drinking wine." The Greek equivalent would seem to me to be "Θα μπορούσα να μην πίνω κρασί" - altho I stand to be corrected on that.

So the English, as a translation exercise into Greek, needs to be changed, because it simply doesn't mean the same thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theo635631

Yeah I didn't understand what conditional meant before. I think "I could not drink wine" just by itself can only be past tense, because there is no condition given in the sentence. I think couldn't could be used in a conditional if there is a condition stating if something happened differently than what actually happened, like if someone was holding a glass and said "if I had fallen asleep, I couldn't drink wine" and then took a sip. Replacing "couldn't" with "wouldn't be able" both forms seem to sound right to me.

I actually had a comment on here before asking about θα μπορούσα να μην πίνω κρασί, but I deleted it last night because I was thinking it was wrong and didnt want to confuse people, you have got me wondering again now though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robert672165

I'm sure it's unintentional, but you have trapped us with a sentence that seems clearly to be in the past tense. If we were asked to translate the Greek expression, it would be "I wouldn't want to drink wine". Where I live, we would never say "I could not drink wine" in the way it's suggested here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theo635631

It would be "I wouldn't be able to drink wine." I think "I wouldn't want to drink wine" would be "Δεν θα ήθελα να πίνω κρασί," but I agree with you I always think past tense when this one pops up.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/I.Schmidt1

why can i not translate with: i could not drink wine with δεν μπορούσα να πίω κρασι it happens one time in the past or not? or how do you translate δεν μπορούσα να πίω κρασι


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stergi3

Πίω is Ancient Greek, used also in Gospels'Koene


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HrOlympios

This is incorrect in English. It may be acceptable in colloquial English, but "I could not" is conditional present, not conditional future...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annamerku

The sentence is wrong in greek. Correct is without the THA. Also pinw would not be applicable either. Δεν μπορούσα να πiω κρασί would be most correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995
Mod
  • 170

Yes, it's the English that is incorrect (as the Greek is considered the base for this lesson). The correct is "I wouldn't be able to drink wine" and is added as the correct translation now.

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