Common mistake not able (unable)

Avoiding Common Grammar Mistakes: "Not able" vs "Unable"

As an English grammar guru, I'm here to help you navigate the tricky world of grammar and improve your writing skills. Today, we'll be discussing a common mistake that often occurs when expressing the idea of being unable to do something. Many people tend to use the phrase "not able," but the correct term to use is actually "unable."

The Difference Between "Not able" and "Unable"

When we want to convey the idea that someone is unable to do something, it is incorrect to say "not able." Although it may seem like a logical construction, it is not grammatically correct. Instead, we should use the word "unable," which means the same thing but is the proper term to use in this context.

Let's look at some examples:

  • Incorrect: I am not able to attend the meeting tomorrow.
  • Correct: I am unable to attend the meeting tomorrow.
  • Incorrect: She was not able to solve the math problem.
  • Correct: She was unable to solve the math problem.

By using "unable" instead of "not able," we ensure that our sentence is grammatically correct and effectively communicates the intended meaning.

Linguix Grammar Checker: To avoid common grammar mistakes like this one, you can use the Linguix Grammar Checker. It is an advanced tool that helps you identify and correct various grammar and spelling errors in your writing. Using a grammar checker can significantly improve the quality of your writing and make it more professional.

not able (unable) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    He was not able to join the meeting.

    He was unable to join the meeting.

  • Correct:
    He was unable to join the meeting.
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