The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-22-2012, 10:42 AM
dolphinboy dolphinboy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Bigfork, Montana
Posts: 2,818
Ability versus Capability

Is there a difference between these two words? Their definitions are pretty similar, but I might be missing a subtle difference.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 06-22-2012, 10:53 AM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Yes. there is a difference, in the noun form. I have the capability to knit -- that is to say, I possess two hands and the mental intelligence to learn plus some yarn and knitting needles -- but I have little ability at knitting, which is to say "I'm not good at it." With practice, I can improve my ability. My capablility will not change.

In adjectival form, I think the difference is less.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.