Difference between Ability and Capability with Examples

Difference between Ability and Capability

Are you also confused with ability and capability? Do you wish to know the difference between ability and capability? Understanding the difference between ability and capability is important for effective communication and clarity in showing one’s skills and potential. While we often use these terms interchangeably. They have differences that affect their usage in various ways.

Read more: Know the difference between Phrase and Sentence

What is Ability?

We can refer to “Ability” as the skill or proficiency to do a specific task or activity. It shows the present state or the existing skill set that someone has. People acquire abilities typically through learning, training, or inherent talent.


Swimming Ability: Someone who learned swimming lessons and can swim proficiently has the ability to swim.

What is Capability?

On the other hand, we refer “Capability” as having the capacity or potential to learn a skill or perform a task, even if it hasn’t been realized yet. It highlights the learning potential, acquiring new skills, or adapting to different situations.


Learning Capability: A person who is curious and eager to learn new languages has the capability to become multilingual.

Examples of Ability and Capability

Examples of Abilities

1) Sonu has the ability to cook delicious meals.

2) Mark’s ability to solve difficult mathematical problems quickly helps him excel in his math class.

3) You have a strong writing ability that enables you to write interesting stories.

Examples of Capabilities

1) John has the capability to adapt to new work environments easily.

2) Neha has the capability to find innovative solutions to tough problems in her business.

3) I have the capability to learn German easily.

How Do Ability and Capability Differ?

1) Temporal Aspect:

 Ability is more focused on present skills or what one can do now.

 Capability refers to the potential to learn or acquire skills in the future.

2) Current State vs. Potential:

 Ability shows existing skills or proficiency.

 Capability shows the potential or capacity to acquire new skills or adapt to different situations.

3) Realized vs. Unrealized Skills:

 Ability is the actual skill one has and can show.

 Capability is the potential skill that one can be develop or learn.

Using Ability and Capability in Different Situations:

1) Job Interviews:

Use “ability” to describe your current skills.

Use “capability” to show your potential to learn and grow within the role.

2) Performance Evaluation:

Highlight your abilities to show your current achievements.

Discuss your capabilities to show your potential for growth and learning.

3) Sports and Hobbies:

Use “ability” to describe your current proficiency.

Use “capability” to discuss your potential to master or improve further.

Understanding the difference “ability” and “capability” in different situations can improve effective communication and help people show their present skills and potential for growth more accurately.

Ability and Capability


Difference between Ability and Capability

1 / 10

An individual's capability shows his:

2 / 10

Which term describes an individual's existing skills or proficiency?

3 / 10

Capability shows the potential to:

4 / 10

Abilities are typically acquired through:

5 / 10

What does the term 'capability' imply?

6 / 10

In job interviews, one should emphasize one's __________ to show current skills.

7 / 10

Which term shows the potential or capacity to acquire new skills?

8 / 10

An individual's ability is:

9 / 10

What does capability primarily signify?

10 / 10

Which term refers to a present skill of an individual?

Your score is

The average score is 0%



In conclusion, ability is what you can do right now, like if you can run fast or jump high. Capability, on the other hand, is what you have the potential to do in the future.

For example, if you can run fast, that’s your ability. But if you practice and train regularly, you have the capability to become an even faster runner in the future.

So, in simple terms, ability is what you can do now, and capability is what you have the potential to do in the future with practice and effort. Both are valuable in understanding one’s skills and potential for growth in various aspects of life.

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