could not pick / could not be able to pick

Discussion in 'English Only' started by devour, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. devour Banned

    I was in the class , my friend called me and at that time I didnt pick up his call. What is the correct version of reply?
    1.I was in the class thats why I could not pick your call up.
    2.I was in the class thats why I could not be able pick your call up.
  2. newg

    newg Senior Member

    London, UK
    The first one is correct :)
  3. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    That's... not exactly true. The first one is more correct than the second one, but it's still far from correct.
    That should be:
  4. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    '... I could not pick up your call' makes sense, implying that the mobile was turned off during class.
  5. newg

    newg Senior Member

    London, UK
    I was referring to the could not/could not be able, which is the point of the thread :)
  6. Wordsmyth

    Wordsmyth Senior Member

    Location: Mostly SW France
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Devour, just to help you understand why your second suggestion is wrong ...

    In this context, could is the past tense of can, and has the meaning of "was able to".

    So "could not be able" = "was not able to be able"!


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