Community Web Version Now Available
Are these sentences about 'be able to ' correct? Many people said that the two sentences are wrong. The two sentences should use 'be capable of ' instead of 'be able to ' This book is able to be translated Their mistakes are able to be corrected. however, I found the exzactly same sentences in Webster Dictionary for example: a car that is able to hold [=can hold] five people▪ The car wasn't able to be repaired. [=could not be repaired] Now, I am being confused. So, What do you think? Thank you very much. if the two sentences which I am confused about are correct, then, what is the difference between 'be able to' and 'be capable of '
Oct 22, 2012 3:26 PM
Answers · 11
This book is able to be translated Their mistakes are able to be corrected. Both of the above sentences are incorrect. Only a living thing or something that can put some efforts can "be able to" do something. A book / mistakes in this context are not doing anything, nor is any inherent quality of them being talked about. All the sentences are talking about is SOMEONE ELSE translating the book or correcting the mistakes. So this form of the sentence cannot be used. Use the passive form as fdmaxey said.
October 22, 2012
If something is able to do something, it implies that some effort is involved. "The book is not able to be translated." implies that the book should be able to do something. However, (hopefully) the book is passive. Correct would be: "We were not able to translate the book." OR "The book cannot be translated." Use 'be transtlated' because this is passive.
October 22, 2012
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language