My dictionary gives me "ability, aptness, suitability" for 適性 but I don't understand and I didn't find many example sentences.

Does it mean the ability of someone or something to adapt to a situation?

I feel like it's completely different from 能力 but I'm not sure.


適性 is close to suitability or aptitude. 適性 is related to someone's learning speed or future potential rather than their current ability. Someone who has a 適性 for something is not necessarily good at it now, but they are easier to be good at it in the future.

  • おしゃべりな人は営業職への適性がある。
    Talkative people have an aptitude for a sales position.
  • 人には適性というものがある。
    = 人には向き不向きがある。
    Different people are cut out for different things.

才能 ("talent") can also refer to someone's future potential, but it is a bigger word that tends to refer to rare and great abilities. For example, プログラマの適性がある人 reminds me of someone with above-average analytical skills, patience, curiosity and such, whereas プログラマの才能がある人 is someone who has everything to be a super hacker.

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