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  5. "Le fabricant ne pouvait pas …

"Le fabricant ne pouvait pas le remplacer."

Translation:The manufacturer could not replace it.

April 24, 2018

7 Comments


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

Curious why 'cannot' is unacceptable as this is equivalent to unable, which seems an acceptable definition.

June 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1836

The idea is that "pouvait" is a past tense, hence "was unable", not just "unable". So you may say "was unable" or "could not", the latter being an alternative way of expressing "cannot" in past tense.

September 6, 2018

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

You cannot translate a French past imperfect to an English present tense.

June 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chrisbrown441096

Cannot is present tense. Could is not

August 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SMCG9
  • 1324

Could not the "le" here be "him" as well as it?

April 24, 2018

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

Not my first understanding, but why not?

April 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1836

It's worth considering how some possibilities are grammatically possible, but a francophone will not necessarily take it that way upon hearing it. Consider the meaning and use the interpretation that is most likely--even if other interpretations are possible. Would a manufacturer replace "him" or "it"?

September 6, 2018
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