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Better understanding of the varied factors that account for successful second language acquisition is a goal that is of obvious interest to anyone within the field of language study. Before the influence of these factors can be adequately understood, of course, they must be defined and utilized in an accurate and consistent way. This paper endeavors to explore and clarify the ambiguity surrounding usage of the terms intelligence and aptitude in second language acquisition in effort to understand the more central issue of how the qualities designated by these terms relate to second language acquisition. This should enable a clearer picture to emerge about the relative importance of intelligence and aptitude among the constellation of factors associated with second language acquisition.