Home Spoken English Common English Expressions: Expressing Ability/Inability

Common English Expressions: Expressing Ability/Inability

Useful Expressions-Expressing Ability-Inability


Ability is the competency or capacity to do or act physically, mentally, legally, morally, financially, etc. It is the special quality or skill of being able to perform, by facilitating attainment or achievement. Inability is the Lack of ability, capacity or competency. It is the state of being unable to do something. Here are the most commonly used expressions for Ability/Inability.


  Can you speak French?
  Can you help me?
  Can you carry this bag?
  Can you…?
  Could you help me?
  Could you…?
  Are you able to write the essay?
  Are you able to…?
  Are you capable of…?
  Are you sure?
  Are you sure to/of…?
  Are you good at…?
  Will you able to play football tomorrow?
  Will you able to…?
  Is it possible for you?
  Is it possible for you to…?
  Do you know how to…?
  Do you know it?
  Do you know anything about it?
  Do you have an ability to…?
  Do you have a capacity of/to…?
  Are you sure to do it?
  How capable are you to/for…?
  May I know whether you’re capable to/for…?
  May I know whether…?
  Let me know whether you’re capable to/for…?
  Let me know whether…?


  Can’t you play tomorrow?
  Can’t you…?
  Can’t you?
  Are you sure you can’t?
  Are you sure you can’t…?
  Aren’t you able to…?
  Won’t you able to…?
  Don’t you have a capacity for/to…?


  I can
  I can…
  I am able to…
  I have capacity to…
  I am capable
  I’m capable of/to/for…
  I have ability to…
  I know how to…
  It’s possible
  It’s possible for me to…
  It’s within my capacity


  I can’t
  I can’t…
  I am not able to…
  I’m unable to…
  It’s impossible
  It’s impossible for me to…
  It’s out of my capacity
  Sorry, not possible
  No, never


  1. Good explanation of ability with different angles of thinking. It stimulates the readers to use variety of words as the condition arises..


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