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    #1

    able and capable

    Hi there,
    Is there any difference in meaning between 'able' and 'capable'?
    And
    Is the following sentence correct?

    He is capable for taht teaching occuaption.


    tks
    pete

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    #2

    Re: able and capable

    Quote Originally Posted by peter123 View Post
    Hi there,
    Is there any difference in meaning between 'able' and 'capable'?
    And
    Is the following sentence correct?

    He is capable for taht teaching occuaption.


    tks
    pete

    'Able' generally requires complementation in the form of an infinitive phrase, which must be implied even if not overtly stated, e.g.

    He is able to recite the poem from memory.

    whereas 'capable' can be used without even implicit complementation, e.g.

    He is a capable individual.

    (= He is able to do many things/He has various abilities.)

    'Capable' can, however, be related to a specific activity, but this is achieved via 'of NP' or 'of -ing', e.g.

    Would you be capable of climbing such a high mountain?
    Last edited by philo2009; 09-Aug-2009 at 05:04.

  2. Senior Member
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    #3

    Re: able and capable

    Hi there,
    Tks a lot.

    Then what is the difference between the following sentences?

    He is able to recite the poem from memory.

    He is capable of reciting the poem from memory.


    tks
    pete

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    #4

    Re: able and capable

    Both are possible, but the first is slightly more natural, since reference is to a relatively specific/limited ability. Where it is to a more generalized ability, then 'capable' is more likely to be used, e.g.

    He is capable of reciting entire poems from memory.

    As long, however, as you make sure of using the correct grammatical construction for each (able to V, capable of Ving), you do not need to overly concern yourself with semantic differences. They will be interchangeable much of the time.

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