Теория:

Study some information about negative sentences and questions with 'to be able to' in past.
 
Для построения отрицательного предложения с to be able to в прошедшем времени необходимо использовать следующий порядок слов:
subject \(+\) was/were \(+\) not \(+\) able to \(+\) Verb in the \(1\)st form (without 'to') \(+\) other parts of the sentence.
She was not able to cook well when he was ten.
  
making-food-982410_640.png
Рис. \(1\). Cooking
 
Для построения общего и специального вопросов используйте следующий порядок слов.
  
General question
Was/Were \(+\) subject \(+\) able to \(+\) Verb in the \(1\)st form (without 'to') \(+\) other parts of the sentence?
Were you able to read when you were at school?
 
reading-925589_640.png
Рис. \(2\). Reading  
 
Special question
Question word (when, how, what....) \(+\) was/were \(+\) subject \(+\) able to \(+\) Verb in the \(1\)st form (without 'to') \(+\) other parts of the sentence?
What were they able to do when they lived in Italy?
Источники:
Рис. 1. Cooking, 2013, https://pixabay.com/images/id-982410/, Pixabay License CC0 Free for commercial use No attribution required
Рис. 2. Reading, 2015, https://pixabay.com/images/id-925589/ Pixabay License CC0 Free for commercial use No attribution required