This seems to me to be too ambiguous (or maybe too subtle) to
be used in a lesson.
Gabriel no podía meter las llaves en la
Carlos couldn't put the keys in the keyhole last night.
Without additional information, it appears that it could be
either way, depending on the reader’s interpretation.
in higher levels you will always find little nuances that need to be learned, as in any other language. We consider that learning these nuances will make students understand the language. The sentence used in this lesson is something used in Spain all the time. It shows you how the rules that are learned as general rules, e.g. using the preterite with adverbs like anoche, el otro día., etc... admit some flexibility, depending on what the speaker wants to express more precisely.
Un saludo cordial.
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