10 Differences Between capability and ability

What is capability?

Capability refers to the power, skill, or proficiency to do something. It is the potential or capacity to achieve specific tasks or goals. This term often implies a certain level of competence or aptitude in a particular area.

Examples of capability

  • A person’s capability to solve complex mathematical equations.
  • An athlete’s capability to run long distances without getting tired.
  • A musician’s capability to play multiple instruments.
  • A teacher’s capability to effectively communicate and engage with students.

Uses of capability

Capabilities are vital for personal and professional development. They enable individuals to accomplish various tasks and excel in their chosen fields. Employers often look for candidates with specific capabilities to fill job roles efficiently. Developing and enhancing capabilities through training and education can significantly benefit individuals and organizations.

What is ability?

Ability, on the other hand, refers to the possession of the necessary skills or qualities to perform a particular task. It is the actual aptitude or talent to carry out specific actions successfully. Ability is often related to innate qualities, but it can also be acquired through learning and practice.

Examples of ability

  • An individual’s ability to speak multiple languages fluently.
  • An artist’s ability to create beautiful paintings.
  • A chef’s ability to cook delicious and visually appealing dishes.
  • An actor’s ability to portray diverse characters convincingly.

Uses of ability

Abilities play a crucial role in determining career choices and success. They allow individuals to excel in specific fields and stand out from others. Employers often seek candidates with specific abilities that align with the required job roles. Nurturing and honing abilities through practice and experience can lead to exceptional achievements and personal satisfaction.

Differences between capability and ability

Difference Area Capability Ability
1. Innate or Acquired Capability can be both innate and acquired. Ability can be both innate and acquired.
2. Scope of Application Capability often refers to a broader range of skills or potential. Ability is usually specific to a particular skill or task.
3. Development Capabilities can be developed through learning and practice. Abilities can be developed through learning and practice.
4. Evaluation Capabilities are assessed based on potential or aptitude. Abilities are evaluated based on actual performance or skill.
5. General vs. Specific Capabilities may encompass a wide range of skills and knowledge. Abilities are more specific and focused on a particular area.
6. Transferable Skills Capabilities can often be transferred to different tasks or contexts. Abilities are usually more task-oriented and less transferable.
7. Potential vs. Performance Capability refers to the potential for performing a task or action. Ability refers to the actual performance or execution of a task.
8. Innate Talent Capabilities may or may not rely on innate talents or aptitudes. Abilities often rely on innate talents or natural aptitudes.
9. Flexibility Capabilities often provide more flexibility in adapting to new situations. Abilities may be less flexible when applied outside their specific domain.
10. Development Time Developing capabilities may require a longer period of time and practice. Developing abilities can be achieved in a relatively shorter time frame.


In summary, capability refers to the potential or capacity to perform tasks, while ability refers to the possession of specific skills or talents. Capabilities are often broader and more transferable, while abilities are more focused and task-oriented. Both can be innate or acquired through learning and practice, and their development plays a crucial role in personal and professional success.

Knowledge Check:

  1. True or False: Capability and ability are both innate qualities.
  2. Which term refers to a wider range of skills or potential?
    a) Capability
    b) Ability
    c) Both
  3. How can abilities be developed?
    a) Learning and practice
    b) Innate talent
    c) Luck
  4. What is the primary evaluation factor for capabilities?
    a) Actual performance
    b) Potential or aptitude
    c) Transferability
  5. Which term is more flexible in adapting to new situations?
    a) Capability
    b) Ability
    c) Both
  6. True or False: Capabilities and abilities can be transferred to different tasks or contexts.
  7. What does ability refer to?
    a) Potential
    b) Actual performance
    c) Both
  8. What is the primary difference between capabilities and abilities?
    a) Development time
    b) Transferability
    c) Focus and specificity
  9. True or False: Developing abilities can be achieved in a shorter time frame compared to developing capabilities.
  10. Which term often requires innate talents or aptitudes?
    a) Capability
    b) Ability
    c) Both


  1. False
  2. a) Capability
  3. a) Learning and practice
  4. b) Potential or aptitude
  5. a) Capability
  6. True
  7. b) Actual performance
  8. c) Focus and specificity
  9. True
  10. b) Ability

Related Topics:

  • The Importance of Developing Capabilities and Abilities
  • How to Enhance and Expand Your Capabilities
  • Discovering and Nurturing Your Unique Abilities
  • Applying Capabilities and Abilities in the Workplace

Leave a Comment

content of this page is protected

Scroll to Top