I heard someone say that they are good on the ice but only in the capacity of ice skating.

What does "in the capacity of" mean in this context?

  • 2
    I would usually use that phrase in a formal way regarding someone who had an appointed position of some kind. 'He addressed the football team in his capacity as Mayor'. (Rather than in his other capacity, that of Team Manager.)
    – Nigel J
    Oct 11 '17 at 0:02
  • 1
    "In the capacity of" would not normally be used in the way you quote. It's unusual to the point of being wrong, and therefore it's extremely difficult to guess what the speaker meant. NigelJ has explained how the phrase is usually used. However, one might possibly have a capacity for doing something.
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 11 '17 at 7:47
  • @AndrewLeach I agree that it is an unusual usage, perhaps to the point of being wrong, but I would disagree that it is difficult to determine what the speaker meant. The meaning is quite clear and is the one identified in the answer to this question.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 8 '18 at 19:59

It means, that they are good at ice skating, but not at the other sporting disciplines which have to do with the ice

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