As I have read ... pouvait means was able to...then in the sentence Elle pouvait voir son petit-fils it means she was able to see her grand son!!!!!!I

Manpreet kaurC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

As I have read ... pouvait means was able to...then in the sentence Elle pouvait voir son petit-fils it means she was able to see her grand son!!!!!!I

Shouldn’t this be written as Elle pourrait voir son petit-fils?

Asked 3 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Manpreet Kaur,

Both pouvait and pourrait are given as possibilities and in that context neither is wrong.

 

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

That would change the meaning. As written it is in imparfait and the meaning is as stated, it has happened, although exactly when etc is uncertain. If you use «pourrait» it is conditional "she could see her grand-son" - doesn't mean she will, but she could (if. . . . ). This is different in English, because we often use '.... could . . ' as a past tense, and also as a conditonal. See this from Laura Lawless https://www.lawlessfrench.com/grammar/modal-verbs/

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

It does help if the phrase to be translated is noted and correct - I see it was indeed 'could see', so, yes the English interpretation of 'could' may be covered either as past or conditional, as noted in original response.

As I have read ... pouvait means was able to...then in the sentence Elle pouvait voir son petit-fils it means she was able to see her grand son!!!!!!I

Shouldn’t this be written as Elle pourrait voir son petit-fils?

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