I came upon some texts where in able to is used where instead also either to be able to or in order to could have been used. In able to doesn't sound quite right to me. I also didn't hear it anywhere before. At first i thought in able to was just a mistake but now i'm not so sure anymore. I googled it but but i didn't find any real arguments against it.

Some Examples:

In addition to that, we had to wait a long time in able to query the next request (sometimes over 30 minutes).

Previously, it has been suggested that S. aureus in able to survive without replication in neutrophils, > but ultimately cause lysis (Voyich et al., 2005; Kobayashi et al., 2010).

Questioned about whether electronic surveillance of social networks by agencies including the NSA and GCHQ is damaging for democracy, Gadde pointed to Twitter's decision to sue the FBI and US Department of Justice in October 2014 in able to publish more details about government requests for user information. Source: theguardian.com

My question is wheter in able to is a existing term or not.

  • 'In addition to that, had we had to wait a long time in able to query the next request (sometimes over 30 minutes).' contains an(other) obvious error, so can be disregarded as a reasonable example. Your second example should obviously read 'is able to'. Jun 30 '20 at 14:43
  • 2
    I’m voting to close this question because there are no convincing examples of the candidate usage given. Jun 30 '20 at 14:49
  • 1
    @EdwinAshworth the fact there are no examples answers the question.
    – Greybeard
    Jun 30 '20 at 14:54
  • 2
    Purely in terms of use, Google Books shows several examples of in able to; however, I can't see any example where it would not almost universally be replaced with in order to, which, in fact, Google Ngram Viewer shows is by far the more common phrase. In other contexts, it could be enabled to. Jun 30 '20 at 14:57
  • 2
    The last example was apparently published by the Guardian. @TheDoctor, please edit your question to link to the actual source of the quotes (rather than any other site you found them on). Without a reliable link there is really no question: your examples may simply be transcription errors. It may be worth remarking that the Guardian newspaper is still affectionately known as the Grauniad because of the number of misprints which found their way to the final print run.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jul 1 '20 at 6:59

Probably, but you're right - it sounds clunky.

I'd go with "in order to", "so as to" .. or just "to" when possible.

  • Hello, Dave. An answer voicing what is no more than opinion is considered unacceptable on ELU. Data or substantiating references are required. Note that OP does not ask for workarounds, which (if it were certain that they fitted) would be too basic for ELU in any case. Jul 1 '20 at 15:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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