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Grammar Rule


I could swim when I was four.
I couldn’t ride a bike when I was three.
He could walk when he was two.


We use ‘could’ and ‘couldn’t’ to talk about our abilities in the past.
She could play chess when she was seven.
He could read when he was five.
I couldn’t run when I was a baby.

Be careful!

After ‘could’ and ‘couldn’t’ we use the infinitive without ‘to’.
I could make a cake when I was six.
My mum couldn’t swim when she was a child.
I couldn’t speak English before I went to school.

We say... We don’t say...

I could use a tablet when I was three. (NOT I could to use a tablet when I was three.)
My dad couldn’t ride a bike when he was ten. (NOT My dad couldn’t riding a bike when he was ten.)

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