Grammar Patterns

ADJ to-inf

The 'able' group

These adjectives indicate that someone or something is or is not able or suitable to do something.
(Note that the phrases be able to and be unable to are treated as phrases in the Collins Cobuild English Dictionary and as phrasal modals in the Collins Cobuild Grammar Patterns 1: Verbs.)
The lion, caught in a tree, had not been able to escape.
The term 'military history' is no longer adequate to describe such a vast area of study.
Most adults do not feel competent to deal with a medical emergency involving a child.
With around two-thirds of all adults eligible to vote, the contests are being seen as an important reflection of public opinion.
Her writing career alone may well be enough to shoot her to fame.
I knew the panic was unrealistic, but I was helpless to stop it.
At the moment, I am ineligible to play for Australia.
Both men were unavailable to comment.
Perhaps, in his twisted mind, her perfection is such that he is unworthy to utter her name.
  • able
  • adequate
  • appropriate
  • available
  • capable
  • competent
  • (not) cut-out
  • eligible
  • enough
  • equipped
  • fit
  • fitted
  • free
  • hard-pressed
  • helpless
  • ill-equipped
  • ill-prepared
  • inadequate
  • incompetent
  • ineligible
  • insufficient
  • okay
  • powerless
  • present
  • ready
  • safe
  • sufficient
  • suitable
  • unable
  • unavailable
  • unfit
  • unprepared
  • unworthy
  • useless
  • worthy
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