In the 1st person and 3rd person singular in the given examples I notice that the words from the verb 'to be able to', i.e 'could' and 'couldn't' are used. In sentences like these would we just have to be aware that these words are implied?
We translated those two sentences using "could" simply because it sounded more natural. It is not linked to the 1st or 3rd person singular. If you change it to another pronoun you can still translate it the same way:
We could see what he was doing.
The thing is, depending on the context, verb "ver" in the imperfect seems to imply the "being able to". You could also translate "Yo veía lo que él hacía" as "I saw/was seeing what he was doing." and it'd be correct; but it sort of implies the "was able to/could".
So, I would say, this nuance is more to do with verb "ver" in the imperfect, and what sort of context. These would be other examples where I'd use "could" too:
"Estuve en la ópera ayer pero no veía nada desde mi asiento."
I was at the opera yesterday but I could not see anything from my seat
"Miguel veía que él y su novia se estaban distanciando."
Miguel could see that he and his girlfriend were growing apart."
I hope this helps.
That explained everything perfectly for me!
Perdóname Inma, no 'Imma'.
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