We need a view that can explain X. In the next part we suggest a view of such capacity.

"a view of such capacity" in the above sentence is intended to mean "a view with the ability to explain X". Is such usage idiomatic?

  • The whole sentence is quite opaque. I am pretty sure that "capacity" is wrong, but I hesitate to suggest any alternative because I cannot figure out what the intended meaning is. I suggest that the question be edited for additional detail on what thought is intended. Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 19:14
  • @JeffMorrow What about "a view of that sort"?
    – Sasan
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 20:47
  • Amazingly, "of that sort" does result in a less vague sentence. I am still not 100% sure I know what you intend, but the sense appears to be expressible much more concisely with: "X requires explanation. The next part proposes one." English is hard in large part because there are so many words to choose from, but that is also its source of power. Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 21:18

2 Answers 2


There's definitely a word usage problem going on here. I think the problem lies with the usage of "of" and the definition of "capacity." It's used as a synonym for aptitude, ability, or competence, but at its root it's a term of measurement. That is, even when it's used as synonyms for those words, the implied meaning is still that it's a measurement of adequate ability or competence.

Specifically, when used as the object of "of," it conjures its base meaning of measurement:

I need seating for 300, do you have a room of such capacity?
I have a one-liter bottle. Do you have a bottle of the same capacity?

In your example, there is not a specific measurement to refer to, so the statement would be more comprehensible using the preposition "with."

We need a view that can explain X. In the next part, we suggest a view with this capacity.

However, because not much measurement is being implied, a word like capability would still be a better word choice.


No, the meaning of “of such capacity” in this context is neither clear nor idiomatic. Since you’re intending to refer to the same “view” as described in the previous sentence, a clearer alternative would be:

"We need a view that can explain X. In the next part we suggest such a view."

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .