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6. Pseudo-Synonyms (And Their Differences) - the Letter A

Able (To), Capable (Of) 1.‘Capable’ is more often used to describe hypothetical or theoretically true action or a potentiality whereas ‘able’ is more often used to describe an immediate or continuous action. The patient is now able to manage her own toilet without any assistance. My father is a trained commando and he is capable of defending himself all alone. This child has the ability to learn and grasp much quicker than other kids of her age and therefore she has the capability to learn even chess at this young age. 2. ‘Capable’ is used express higher order ability. Of all those who were able to sprint, very few were capable of running a marathon. 3. I have an early morning flight to catch, so I won’t be able to (can’t) come for late dinner tonight. (wrong: capable of coming... ). 4. He stood third and he hence he will not be able (legally qualified) to participate in next tournament. (wrong: not be capable of participating..) 5. He is capable of (has the inclination and temperament for) hard work. (wrong: able to work hard work)

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