great abilities <in><of> translation

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Senior Member
Hi all,

I am wondering which preposition should I use after 'abilities' in my sentence.

He has great abilities _____ translation.

I know that the best way to say it is 'translation abilities', but I am wondering whether 'in' or 'of' here is grammatically correct?

Any help is appreciated.
  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    He has great skill at translation.
    He is very skilful at translating French to English.

    Srta. G

    New Member
    English-United States
    Hi T.D.,

    If I had to keep your sentence as written, I would use, "He has great abilities for translation." I would use "for" here, because I would use it in a sentence that communicates a similar sentiment: He has an aptitude for translation.

    I would add that I don't love how the sentence is phrased, as it sounds awkward to my ear. I feel that it could be better phrased. I think that is what kentix attempted to do with their post.


    Senior Member
    Thank you all for your advice.

    This sentence was written by my friend.
    His original sentence was 'He had strong abilities of translation and interpreting.'

    I cannot explain from a grammartic aspect, but thought it sounded weird and changed it to 'He had strong translation and interpretation skills.' (Also I was told it's better to use -tion in parallel with -tion, and -ing with -ing, so I changed interpreting to interpretation)

    Just curious which preposition should be used if he insisted to use his structure.

    So basically native speakers do not usually use 'ability of/for [a skill]' in this kind of context, but instead 'skill'?


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    This is excellent.

    He had strong translation and interpretation skills.

    "Abilities of" does not sound natural. Even "he had strong abilities" does not sound natural.

    Here's a use that sounds natural with "to".

    He had a well-developed ability to perceive hidden danger, which served him well in his role as a private investigator.
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