Er sagt, er könne sich an den Abend nicht erinnern.

English Translation

He says that he has no memory of the evening.

Why not “Er kann sich…”?

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It is reported speech, and therefore you need the Konjunktiv (1).

That said, in everyday oral communication you will often hear “Er sagt, er kann …”.
Nevertheless, it’s wrong.

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Thank you!

I’ve been told as well “Er, könnte sich…” would also be used, even if it is wrong!

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That’s true.
“Er sagt, er könnte …” or “Er sagt, er würde …” are also common mistakes.

Nobody will care, if you say that one way or the other.
But don’t write it.

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