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Podia vs pude


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Podía is for things that you used to be able to do or could have done but you no longer can. You're implying with its use that you cannot longer perform whatever is expressed.

"Yo podía correr rápido".

(I could run fast in the sense of "I used to be good running fast but not anymore")

Pude is a moment gone but it is not restricting the present, usually the action had a start and a conclusion both in the past.

"Yo pude correr rápido". (I could run fast in that exact moment my tale is about. In that moment I managed, I was able to run fast. This says nothing about the present).

Pude + "haber*" may also be used as a translation for "I could have", usually showing some remorse or some sort of what if scenario.

"Pude haber ganado" (I could have won)

Okay another example:

No podia llorar VS No pude llorar (I couldn't cry.)

No podia llorar = I used to not able to cry (implying that now you are able to) at the time the specific moment took place.

No pude llorar = During that specific moment for some reason I could not cry.

Lets say that you meant that crying was not an option, you had to hold your tears or else something bad would happen to you then "podia" is the one to use with because that way you are implying that there was a condition that no longer applies.

I hope this can be of help.  :smile:

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