One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘this area of research is beyond my technical competence’
capability, ability, competency, capacity, proficiency, accomplishment, adeptness, adroitness, knowledge, expertise, expertness, skill, skilfulness, prowess, mastery, resources, faculties, facilities, talent, bent, aptitude, artistry, virtuosity
informal savvy, know-how
2‘doubts arose over the competence of the system’
adequacy, appropriateness, suitability, fitness
effectiveness, efficacy, productiveness
value, worth, merit
3‘these matters fall within the competence of the church courts’
authority, power, control, jurisdiction, ambit, scope, remit
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