1. (having the ability to) 
a. capaz 
We are willing and able to help at any time.Estamos dispuestos y capaces de ayudar en cualquier momento.
You are able to do anything you put your mind to.Eres capaz de hacer cualquier cosa que te propones.
b. poder 
The paramedics asked her if she was able to walk.Los paramédicos le preguntaron si podía caminar.
2. (capable) 
a. capaz 
He's an able worker; it's no wonder they promoted him.Él es un trabajador capaz; no me sorprende que le hayan dado un ascenso.
1. (general) 
a. no direct translation 
to be able to do somethingser capaz de hacer algo, poder hacer algo
I was able to speak to him myselfconseguí or pude hablar con él
she was able to see exactly what was happeningpudo ver exactamente lo que estaba sucediendo
2. (competent; person) 
a. capaz 
3. (piece of work, performance) 
a. logrado(a), conseguido(a) 
able [ˈeɪbl]
to be able to do sth (of acquired skills) saber hacer algo; (other contexts) poder hacer algo; the child isn't able to walk (yet) el niño no sabe andar (todavía); he's not able to walk no puede andar; come as soon as you are able ven en cuanto puedas; I was eventually able to escape por fin pude escaparme; por fin logré escaparme; able to pay solvente
2 (capable) [+person] capaz; [+piece of work] sólido
she is one of our ablest pupils es una de nuestras alumnas más capaces
able seaman (n) marinero (m) de primera or patentado
Poder and saber can both translate to be able to, can and could.
Use saber when to be able to, can and could mean "know how to":
Can you type? ¿Sabes escribir a máquina?
His wife couldn't drive Su mujer no sabía conducir
Other contexts
Generally, use poder:
He can stay here Puede quedarse aquí
We have not been able to persuade them No hemos podido convencerlos
When can and could are followed by find or a verb of perception - see, hear, feel, taste or smell - they are usually not translated:
I can't find it No lo encuentro
What can you see? ¿Qué ves?
Alternatives to "poder"
When to be able means "to be capable of", you can often use ser capaz de as an alternative to poder:
I don't think he'll be able to resist it No creo que sea capaz de or pueda resistirlo


1. (able to or given to; used with verbs to form adjectives) 
a. -able 
María es una persona razonable. Seguro que entenderá tus motivos.Maria is a reasonable person. I'm sure she'll understand your reasons.
El clima de la región es muy agradable, sobre todo en esta época del año.The region's climate is very agreeable, especially at this time of the year.
2. (fit for or worthy of being; used with verbs to form adjectives) 
a. -able 
Todos los objetivos que me he propuesto son alcanzables.All the objectives I've set myself are achievable.
La calidad de los platos de este chef es comparable a la de los mejores del mundo.The quality of this chef's dishes is comparable to that of the best in the world.
Aspects of Word Formation in Spanish 2
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