What are some English expressions that we can use to talk about things we can and can’t imagine?
You probably already know words like possible and impossible, real and imaginary, so let’s look at some other vocabulary.
We can use the verb picture.
For example, we might say: Picture a green field stretching off into the distance. Picture a blue sky overhead. Picture a forest on either side… Can you picture it? If you can, great… If not, you can say , “Sorry, I can’t picture it.”
For example. When a beginning level student comes to me and says, “I’m going to be in the U.S. for one month. By the time I leave, I want to speak English like a native speaker.” I would say, “I celebrate your ambition–bravo!! But your wish is outside the realm of the possible. It’ll never happen. Fluency takes time. Improvement, however, is within the realm of the possible. A month is enough time to make progress.
We can call something outside the realm of possibility a pipe dream. It is like a vision that comes into your head after smoking a drug.
We also talk about something being thinkable and unthinkable. A thinkable thing is possible. An unthinkable thing is (or seems) impossible.
If we’re speaking about a course of action, we can call it doable or not doable. What we mean is that it is possible to do or impossible to do.
I hope using these new words is now within the realm of possibility for you. Picture yourself using them in conversation soon. I hope that’s doable and not just a pipe dream of mine!