I'm doing translation exercise, and it comes to a problem.

I used "capacious" to describe a big yard.

(because I learned this word lately.)

Then I check out the answer, it used "spacious".

I consult the Oxford Dictionary, and it says:

Capacious: having a lot of space to put things in.

Spacious: large and with plenty of space for people to move around in.

well, I still can't figure it out.

Are they just the same ?

Or there is a nuanced difference ?

Next is "source" and "resource"

I think "resource" is a abstract word, like "human resource", "social resource".

While I think "source" is a concrete word, like "water source" and "food source", which we can touch or drink or eat.

Is that right?

  • 1
    For me spacious is two-dimensional, whilst capacious involves three. I would describe a level car park as spacious, but a car boot as capacious.
    – WS2
    Sep 20 '16 at 9:10
  • 5
    "capacious" really refers to something's ability to contain other things: its capacity in other words. A large bag is capacious because you can carry lots of things in it. The primary function of a yard isn't to contain or carry things, so capacious isn't the best choice. "spacious" is a more simple proposition - it just means that it's large. Sep 20 '16 at 10:23
  • Well, "capacious" sounds snooty. And for source/resource you need to provide some context.
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 20 '16 at 12:19
  • 1
    @WS2 I think that's part of it, but you could also say that a room was more spacious after you raised the ceiling, so the third dimension can come into play. Sep 20 '16 at 13:31
  • 1
    @WS2, I agree, it was really just a comment on how spaciousness can relate to three dimensions, not just two. Sep 20 '16 at 15:05

If you look at the synonyms section of ODO you'll see that they are considered largely synonymous.

However, spacious ist he much more common word, which explains why it would show up as answer in your test.

If we have a look at the ten most common nouns that follow the two words we can see a pattern of use. Spacious is exclusively used for physical spaces, while capacious is also used in a more metaphorical sense being followed mostly by mind. There are several words which do not refer to great physical dimensions but, well the capacity to store something or take something in like the pockets or the stomach.

For the other two words I advise you to have a look at the dictionary as you did with the first two words.


Source is a point of origin.

Resource is typically something or someone of value that can be used to make something.

Someone resourceful is someone capable of taking what's around them to do what needs to be done. Like Macgyver from the TV show is highly resourceful.

A source is often a resource as well.

  • This only seems to asnwer half of (too-broad) question. Also, you answer could be improved with sources.
    – Skooba
    Oct 10 '17 at 18:53

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