ability

mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
“In my opinion, a large number of parents don’t have an ability to bring up children properly.
Is the underlined part correct?
Have you got any suggestions to express it shortest?
Thanks.
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    “In my opinion, a large number of parents don’t have an ability to bring up children properly.
    Is the underlined part correct?
    Have you got any suggestions to express it shortest?
    Thanks.
    I would say "the ability". When you say "an" ability in this context, you're referring to a specific ability and it sounds odd in the singular. It's like saying:

    "A large number of people don't have an ability to paint or draw".

    They don't have "the" ability.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Thanks, Dimcl.
    Do you mean that I should use "the" and "abilities" in my sentence?
    Could I use qualified?
    They are not qualified enough to bring up their children?
    Could I use train?
    They are not trained well enough to bring up their children?
    I would use an adjective, not an adjective formed from a verb to replace.
    Could you help me?
    Thanks
     

    sunkitty

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi Mimi,

    I would not use qualified or trained here. Both refer to having skills as a result of being taught. You can become qualified or trained to be a doctor or a taxi driver. People usually don't go to school to learn to be parents.

    If you want to use an adjective, I would use "They are not capable of bringing up children". (You could also use "able", but that's a little more vague. Capable has to do with ability/skill/dispositon, where people will sometimes say they are not "able" to do something that they could do, but they don't have time, et cetera).

    Hope that helps.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Hi, sunkitty.
    Thank you.
    Is "fit" suitable too?
    "They are not fit to bring up children"
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Do you mean that I should use "the" and "abilities" in my sentence?
    Use "the ability" instead of "an ability". "Don't have the ability to" = "can't". "Don't have an ability (needed) to bring up children properly" sounds like you are about to specify one particular ability that they will need for bringing up children.

    I think what you really mean is something more like "knowledge" than "ability".

    About the shortest way to say it is "don't know how to raise (their) children".

    Hi, sunkitty.
    Thank you.
    Is "fit" suitable too?
    "They are not fit to bring up children"
    This has a much more negative connotation. It means that they don't deserve even to be taught to bring up children. :eek:
     
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