'Ability to Do' or 'Ability of Doing'? Which One Is Correct? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 12 June 2024)

Ability to Do or Ability of Doing: Which One Is Correct?

The word ability is followed by an infinitive when it refers to the fact of being able to do something. Use the pattern ability to do something:

The ability to speak English is vitally important.
The ability of speaking English is vitally important.

Chris has the ability to juggle many tasks at once.
Chris has the ability of juggling many tasks at once.

The injured tiger has lost its ability to defend itself.
The injured tiger has lost its ability of defending itself.

The trading platform gives users the ability to list all kinds of items and goods.
The trading platform gives users the ability of listing all kinds of items and goods.

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Examples from the Media

Nearly 3,000 people in the UK and US answered four questions on how they rate their ability to understand what others are really thinking. Daily Mail (2021)

Even if you're not an avid reader, the exercise can help you regain the ability to focus deeply on what you're doing. The New York Times (2023)

A survey for the business group shows 83 per cent of young professionals believe high rents and home prices are impeding their ability to save for retirement. Toronto Star (2017)

Australians have also revealed that they are cautious about giving unions the ability to strike agreements for workers across a number of employers in the same industry, which was a central outcome of the government's jobs and skills summit which took place earlier this month. The Sydney Morning Herald (2022)

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