Capable of [Verb]ing

How to use the expression "capable of [verb]ing" correctly

This is an entry on my list of Common Errors in English Usage. Visit the main page for direct links to additional entries.

The adjective capable should be followed by the preposition of and a gerund (an “-ing verb” acting as a noun), not by an infinitive (a verb with to):

capable to solve this problem

capable of solving this problem

Confusion about this idiom may arise from the correct use of an infinitive with the adjective able, as in “able to solve.”

Related Resources

Common Errors in English Usage: Errors in diction and idiom commonly made by native speakers of English

List of Common Errors in English Usage (PDF): Printable version of the complete list

Common Grammar Errors: A list of common errors in grammar (topics like subject-verb agreement and parallelism) as distinct from usage

List of Common Errors in English Usage: PDF version

© 2006, 2008, and 2019 C. Brantley Collins, Jr.