'could' and 'was (were) able to'

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Korean - South Korea
When we are talking about an ability in the past, I know that we can use 'could'. But in some grammar books, it says that both 'could' and 'was (were) able to' can be used. For example, I know that the sentence 'When I was young, I could play the piano quite well.' is correct. But is the sentence, 'When I was young, I was able to play the piano quite well.' acceptable too?
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  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Both are correct. Here are some threads on the topic:

    [URL='https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/could-was-able-to.581554/']could / was able to[/URL]
    [URL='https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/could-was-able-to.581554/'][URL='https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/could-was-able-to.1147315/']could / was able to[/URL][/URL]
    Could Vs was able to

    You can find many more by searching for "could was able" (using the search box at the top of the page) and scrolling to the bottom of the search results. You are welcome to join the discussion in any relevant thread. I'll close this thread to avoid duplication.

    Florentia52, moderator
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