Though everyday life accords a great deal of significance to practical abilities – such as the ability to walk, to speak French, to play the piano – philosophers of action pay surprisingly little attention to them. By contrast, abilities are discussed in various other philosophical projects. From these discussions, a partial theory of abilities emerges. If the partial theory – which is at best adequate only to a few examples of practical abilities – were correct, then philosophers of action would be right to ignore practical abilities, because they could play no fundamental role in an account of human agency. For the idea that practical abilities do play a fundamental role in human agency to be worth considering, an alternative conception of them is needed. As a first step, I attempt some of the necessary ground-clearing work.