Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,715
    #1

    able and capable

    Dear teachers,

    Could you please explain the difference between "an able man" and "a capable man"?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  1. Soup's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,882
    #2

    Re: able and capable

    Hi

    The difference is between the meanings here, ability and capacity.


    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,715
    #3

    Re: able and capable

    Hi,

    I know "able" means "above" the average". "capable" means "qualities fitting one for work but doesn't imply outstanding ability". Please read the sentence:

    Mrs. Smith is a very ________ woman. She is successful in her career and she is a good mother and wife, too.
    a. capable b. able
    My teacher said the key should be "a". But I don't know why I can't choose "b".

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Hi

    The difference is between the meanings here, ability and capacity.


  2. Soup's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,882
    #4

    Re: able and capable

    Hi

    Mrs Smith can be descibed either as 'able' or 'capable', as you know. However, given that she is successful in two areas, her career and homelife, capable fits the context more so, because she is capable of doing both, and successfully as well.

    Mrs. Smith is a very ________ woman. She is successful in her career and she is a good mother and wife, too.

    a. capable b. able

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,715
    #5

    Re: able and capable

    Hi,

    Could you please explain if "capable" means (as I guess from your explanation) doing more than one thing at the same time? If it is correct it should mean something like "efficient". Is that right?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Hi

    Mrs Smith can be descibed either as 'able' or 'capable', as you know. However, given that she is successful in two areas, her career and homelife, capable fits the context more so, because she is capable of doing both, and successfully as well.

    Mrs. Smith is a very ________ woman. She is successful in her career and she is a good mother and wife, too.

    a. capable b. able

  3. banderas's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 1,512
    #6

    Re: able and capable

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Hi,

    I know "able" means "above" the average". "capable" means "qualities fitting one for work but doesn't imply outstanding ability". Please read the sentence:

    Mrs. Smith is a very ________ woman. She is successful in her career and she is a good mother and wife, too.
    a. capable b. able
    My teacher said the key should be "b". But I don't know why I can't choose "a".

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    If she is able to do something, she can do it and it is not unusual or surprising if she does it.
    If she is capable of (doing) something, it is unusuall and surprising .
    Therefore you could choose "able" but "cabable" fits in a way better.
    Last edited by banderas; 17-Apr-2008 at 15:48. Reason: typo

  4. Soup's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,882
    #7

    Re: able and capable

    Jiang,

    Banderas' answer is good. Check out the site here as it explains it a bit more: Ask About English: AAE Q133: 'able' vs 'capable' +

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,715
    #8

    Re: able and capable

    Hi,

    Thank you very much for your explanation.
    As far as I can understand your better is what Soup meant "more so". Is that right? So Soup means both are correct but ''capable'' is better?

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by banderas View Post
    If she is able to do something, she can do it and it is not unusual or surprising if she does it.
    If she is capable of (doing) something, it is unusuall and surprising .
    Therefore you could choose "able" but "cabable" fits in a way better.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
    • Posts: 2,715
    #9

    Re: able and capable

    Hi,
    I shall check right now.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    Jiang,

    Banderas' answer is good. Check out the site here as it explains it a bit more: Ask About English: AAE Q133: 'able' vs 'capable' +

  5. Soup's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,882
    #10

    Re: able and capable

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    So Soup means both are correct but ''capable'' is better?
    That's right.

    Mrs Smith is both able and capable.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •