Difference Between Aptitude and Ability

Aptitude vs Ability
 

Though aptitude and ability are two words that are often confused when it comes to their meanings and connotations, there is a difference between them. First let us define the two words. The word aptitude can be defined as natural ability. The word aptitude is used in the sense of ‘talent.’ On the other hand, the word ability is used in the sense of ‘skill.’ This can also be defined as the power to do something. This is the major difference between the two words. This article attempts to highlight the difference between the two words while providing an understanding of each word.

What does Aptitude mean?

The word aptitude can be defined as natural ability. This can be a potential within an individual that has not been fully developed yet. In this sense, it lays dormant until the individual realizes that he has such a potential and make use of it. Aptitude tests are aimed at assessing the mental ability of people. The word aptitude can be used in the English language in the following manner.

Observe the two sentences:

He showed tremendous aptitude at a young age.

She lauded his aptitude.

In both the sentences, you can see that the word aptitude is used in the sense of ‘talent.’ Hence, the meaning of the first sentence would be ‘he showed tremendous talent at a young age,’ and the meaning of the second sentence would be ‘she lauded his talent.’

It is interesting to note that the word aptitude is sometimes used in the sense of ‘fitness’ as in the sentence ‘he has a tremendous mental aptitude.’ The expression ‘mental aptitude’ means ‘mental fitness.’

Difference Between Aptitude and Ability

Aptitude tests are aimed at assessing the mental ability of people

What does Ability mean?

Ability can be defined as the power to do something. Ability is something that an individual possesses at the present moment. Unlike an aptitude that needs to be taken out, ability needs not. It is true that sharpening one’s ability can benefit the individual but it does not have to be taken out and remains visible.

Observe the two sentences:

He has the ability to sing well.

She exhibited her ability to paint.

In both the sentences, the word ability is used in the sense of ‘skill.’ Hence, the meaning of the first sentence would be ‘he has the skill to sing well,’ and the meaning of the second sentence would be ‘she exhibited her skill to paint.’

The word ability is sometimes used in the sense of ‘knack’ as in the sentence ‘sometimes he can calm things down’. In this sentence, the word ability is used in the sense of ‘knack’ and hence, the meaning of the sentence would be ‘sometimes he has the knack of calming things down.’

It is important to know that the words aptitude and ability are used as nouns. These are the differences between the two words, namely, aptitude and ability.

 Aptitude vs Ability

‘She exhibited her ability to paint’

What is the difference between Aptitude and Ability?

• Definitions of Aptitude and Ability:

• Aptitude can be defined as natural ability.

• Ability can be defined as he power to do something.

• Natural Talent and Skill:

• Aptitude is used in the sense of natural talent.

• Ability is used in the sense of skill.

• Potential and Skill:

• Aptitude is a potential.

• Ability is a skill.

• Presence:

• An aptitude may remain within an individual untapped.

• An ability is present in the individual.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Exam by Rhcastilhos (CC BY 3.0 br)
  2. Woman painting by Pedro Ribeiro Simões (CC BY 2.0)