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Dear teachers,

Would you please tell me which meaning have the following English sentences ?

1) He refused to move so that the police had to carry him away.

SO THAT here introduces a) a conséquence ? b) an aim ? c) could be both ?

2) Him, talk to Sandra? They couldn't even discuss the weather these days without it turning into an argument.

the combination of the past COULD with THESE DAYS isn't odd ? should it not have been "those days" instead ? My question is "should the unability COULD NOT be translated in the present or the past tense?"

Thank you in advance for your help.
Kind regards,
Hela
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I see what you mean about (1); we would interpret it as ( a ) on probability; context would determine the real meaning, however.

'They would not be able to discuss the weather these days (if they had/were to have a conversation about it today or tomorrow.)' Conditional II -- non-past improbable/impossible: they are not in fact speaking to each other.
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"seraient", yes! Not "sont"!

the "-ould" words in English (would, could, should) often serve the same purpose in English that the conditional mood/tense of French serves in French. Not in every case, but very often.

(You might just as well include Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.)

[I liked "tourner au vinaigre" better than "se disputer"! Emotion: smile ]

CJ
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Dear teachers who also speak French / Dear CalifJim,

Taking consideration of what Mr Micawber told me about sentence #2 above, should I translate it by :

Lui, parler à Sandra ? Ces jours-ci, ils ne SERAIENT (and not SONT) même pas capables de parler de la pluie et du beau temps sans que cela ne tourne/tournât au vinaigre / sans qu’ils ne se disputent.

Sorry for this intrusion of French here but I'd like to have the opinion of English speakers.

Best regards,
Hela
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Thanks Jim,

May I ask you questions about translation sometimes ?

Best regards,
hela
Of course! As you can well imagine, I'm better at translating from French to English than the other way around. I often translate articles from LeMonde, in fact.

CJ