...but <had not been><was not> able to.

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Source:

Honduran Rivals Leave Negotiations Without Meeting Face to Face

Sample sentence:

Mr. Arias met with the parties separately in his wood-paneled den, his aides said, first with Mr. Zelaya and later with Mr. Micheletti. Mr. Arias’s aides said he had wanted to sit both delegations down together, but could not.

Question:

If I were to replace the bolded "could not" in my sentence, what should I use "had not been able to" or "was not able to"?

Mr. Arias met with the parties separately in his wood-paneled den, his aides said, first with Mr. Zelaya and later with Mr. Micheletti. Mr. Arias’s aides said he had wanted to sit both delegations down together, but <had not been><was not> able to.


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Either is possible, I have, in this case, a slight preference for "had not been able to" because (i) it is a report (ii) this action takes place and is completed before the main point of the whole passage and sets the background - that Mr Arias met both parties.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks PaulQ. Could "was not able to" imply that Mr. Arias met both parties?
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top