Could / managed to

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merri =?iso-8859-1?Q?=B2?=:
From Longman English Grammar:
==
Specific achievement in the past
Could cannot normally be used when we are describing the successful completion of a specific action; was/were able to, managed to or succeeded in + -ing must be used instead:
In the end they managed to rescue > were able to rescue > succeeded in rescuing the cat on the roof.
If an action was not successfully completed, we may use couldn't:

They tried for hours, but they couldn't rescue the cat. (or weren't able to, didn't manage to, etc.)
Could can be used when we are asking about a specific action (as opposed to describing it):
Could they rescue the cat on the roof? (= did they manage to?) - No, they couldn't. It was too difficult.
However, an affirmative response requires an alternative to could:

- Yes, they managed to. (Not could)
==
(The author then points out that there are some exceptions to the rule.)
1. Perhaps the wording is too strong, but do you generally agree with thisparagraph?
2. If not, can we use "could" to convey the sense of "managed to"? Forinstance, there's the sentence: "The forward dribbled past his marker and scored a fine goal." As I understand it, "managed to score" in the place of "scored" can be used to convey a sense of some effort/difficulty. Now, I believe it's wrong to use "could score" if I want to say exactly the same thing managed to score (and bear in mind that he really scored). Is it correct?
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Adrian Bailey:
[nq:1]From Longman English Grammar: == Specific achievement in the past Could cannot normally be used when we are describing the ... some exceptions to the rule.) 1. Perhaps the wording is too strong, but do you generally agree with this paragraph?[/nq]
No.
[nq:1]2. If not, can we use "could" to convey the sense of "managed to"? For instance, there's the sentence: "The ... say exactly the same thing managed to score (and bear in mind that he really scored). Is it correct?[/nq]
Depends on your meaning of "correct". I'd say it is correct, but I think it's uncommon now and not recommended for use. When I say it over to myself, it sounds old-fashioned, as from a 1950's match commentary.

Adrian (UK)
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
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