Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Are there differences in meaning of the words "skills", "abilities", and "talents" within the context of describing what a person can do?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by MετάEd, Andrew Leach, Kristina Lopez, choster, Gnawme Jun 28 '13 at 16:00

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – MετάEd, Andrew Leach, Kristina Lopez, choster, Gnawme
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Please check definitions and usage examples. If you still have micro-level questions, do try ELL. –  Kris Jun 28 '13 at 6:37
    
meta: Whatever has happened to the GR option? –  Kris Jun 28 '13 at 6:38
    
@Kris It's under OT. –  Andrew Leach Jun 28 '13 at 8:20

2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

From my understanding:

  • skill — something learnt by putting in conscious effort
  • talent — something natural in a person (probably learnt unconsciously)
  • ability — capacity to do things (a measure of skill or talent)
share|improve this answer

A basketball player can be skilled (experience and training) and/or talented (natural ability) to finish the game on behalf of his team (ability).

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.