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    #1

    able / capable

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me your opinion concerning my ascertainment regarding the adjectives able and capable. I know that both are synonyms but in my opinion there is a large difference between them.

    Capable is not followed by an infinitive in English, while the construction able to takes an infinitive to show the subject's ability to accomplish an action: We were able to get a grant for the project.
    Filled with enthusiasm, they were capable of performing miracle. He is capable of great deeds.
    Capable refers to specific and special qualifications or qualities; while able indicates mental ot physical power generally. Thus we say:

    The baby is able to walk already. The child is able to read and write. You won’t be able to work if you don’t take care of your health. He wasn’t able to give me a definite answer (he needed more information). As I had read all the material, I was able to give clear answers. The machine is able to do the work of hundreds of men.

    Capable refers to more specific ability or to individual qualities, e.g.
    He is capable of giving brilliant lectures. She is not capable (she is incapable) of telling a lie. That machine is capable of carrying out the most difficult mathematical operations.

    He was unable to come, as he was too busy.
    She seemed incapable of coming in time.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: able / capable

    Able to. Capable of.

    And David is right: bag ascertainment!

    =O]


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #3

    Re: able / capable

    You should save your posting in a Microsoft Word documents folder on your computer. If, at some future date, a threader asks about these two words.....

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: able / capable

    Or we could say, "Ask Vil"....


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #5

    Re: able / capable

    Where did my first posting in this thread disappear to, where I discuss 'ascertainment'?

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