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  1. Key Member
    Student or Learner
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    capability and capacity


    what's the difference between these words, please?

    do "His capability was unquestionable" and "His capacity was unquestionable" mean the same?

    is "His capability and capacity was unquestionable" redundant?

    is "capability" more used in North America?

    sorry for so many questions.

    thanks a lot.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
    Retired English Teacher
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    Re: capability and capacity

    Hi, Capability suggests an ability to carry out a task whereas Capacity suggests a volume or quantity of work that someone can undertake.
    Therefore I would suggest that they are not the same.
    I think that the sentence could quite correctly read; "His capability and capacity were unquestionable."

  3. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
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    Re: capability and capacity

    The phrase 'volume or quantity' points to another difference. 'Capacity' can refer to a real or figurative ability to contain or absorb. You can say 'the capacity of a bucket', but you can also talk figuratively about a person's 'capacity for hard work' or 'a capacity for information'.

    It may also be worth being aware that there used to be - and still remains, in some parts of the world, and among some people - a prescription against the word 'capability', which is a relative new-comer (indeed, some dictionaries still don't recognize it).


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