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Thread: capacity of/for


    • Join Date: Apr 2010
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    #1

    capacity of/for

    One of my students is English, and she accepts the use of the preposition "for" in the sentence "the room has capacity for 60 people".. I thought the only right way to talk about contents with the word "capacity" was: "the room has a capacity of 60 people". She also accepts the preposition "for" in the question "How many people does the room have capacity for? ... I would suggest other type of questions such as "how many people can it take?... , not so directly translated from Spanish... or in any case, how many people does the room have a capacity of? (This doesn't sound natural to me either)... I would appreciate if someone can tell me if both prepositions are correct, and if they are not, explain the diffference to me. Thank you in advance.

  1. xpert's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: capacity of/for

    Both refer to the amount of space a container, room etc has to hold things or people.
    Therefore, both are correct.

    The fuel tank has a capacity of 40 litres.
    The room had seating capacity for about 80.


    Notice that "capacity for" refers also to someone's ability to do something.
    a child's capacity for learning
    an infinite capacity for love

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Retired English Teacher
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    #3

    Re: capacity of/for

    I would prefer "a capacity of" when talking about volume. In the case of your question about the number of people that can fit in a room, I would use: "the room has space/seating for X persons".

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