Quick answer
"Could you" is a phrase which is often translated as "podrías", and "be able to" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "poder". Learn more about the difference between "could you" and "be able to" below.
could you(
kood
 
yu
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (used to address one person)
a. podrías
A word of phrase used to refer to the second person informal “tú” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. How are you?).
(informal)
(singular)
Could you please call me when you get home?¿Me podrías llamar cuando llegues a casa?
b. podías
A word of phrase used to refer to the second person informal “tú” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. How are you?).
(informal)
(singular)
Could you read when you were in kindergarten?¿Tú podías leer cuando ibas en kínder?
c. pudiste
A word of phrase used to refer to the second person informal “tú” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. How are you?).
(informal)
(singular)
Could you have left your purse at the party?¿Pudiste haber dejado tu bolsa en la fiesta?
d. podría
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
(formal)
(singular)
Could you please remind me who our guests will be today?¿Me podría recordar quiénes serán nuestros invitados hoy?
e. podía
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
(formal)
(singular)
Could you already speak French when you were in undergraduate school?¿Ya podía hablar francés cuando estaba en la universidad?
f. pudo
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
(formal)
(singular)
Could you see the singer last night, or were you too far from the stage?¿Pudo ver al cantante anoche, o estaba demasiado lejos del escenario?
2. (used to address multiple people)
a. podrían (plural)
Could you quiet down, please?¿Podrían callarse, por favor?
b. podían (plural)
Could you play basketball this well at the beginning of the year?¿Podían jugar al baloncesto tan bien al principio del año?
c. pudieron (plural)
Could you understand what your substitute teacher was saying yesterday?¿Pudieron entender lo que les dijo su maestro sustituto ayer?
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be able to(
bi
 
ey
-
buhl
 
tu
)
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to be capable of)
a. poder
I am able to meet next Monday at nine in the morning. Is that convenient?Puedo reunirme el lunes que viene a las nueve de la mañana. ¿Le es conveniente?
b. ser capaz de
He was not able to walk after the accident.No era capaz de caminar después del accidente.
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