"We could not do anything for her."
Translation:Wir konnten nichts für sie tun.
Is it possible to translate it as : Wir könnten für sie nichts machen. I understand that "konnten" is the past form, but can "könnten" also be used here?
One of my German teachers said that, "könnten", the Konjunktiv II Form, is not used for the 1st persons, meaning; it doesn't make sense to say "What could I do for you?" rather "What can I do for you?". I think the explanation would be, because you should know what you are capable of doing, even for politeness you wouldn't ask it that way.
I believe "machen" should work here. I don't see why it wouldn't. Maybe it should be reported.
I believe this is because prepositional phrases generally go after any verbs, nouns, or pronouns.
Sorry this isn't a very good explanation. I've never actually seen a rule for this. This is just an observation of mine. Maybe a native could confirm? For now, you'll at least have a bit of an idea as to why this is.