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Meaning of 'not impossible'



 
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Meaning of 'not impossible' #1 (permalink) Wed Oct 11, 2006 17:27 pm   Meaning of 'not impossible'
 

English Idioms and Expressions, Advanced Level

ESL/EFL Test #23 "Idioms with prepositions", question 3

There's no saying you couldn't pass your exam if you really tried.

(a) There's a possibility
(b) It's not possible
(c) It's not impossible
(d) It's impossible

English Idioms and Expressions, Advanced Level

ESL/EFL Test #23 "Idioms with prepositions", answer 3

It's not impossible you couldn't pass your exam if you really tried.

Correct answer: (c) It's not impossible

Your answer was: incorrect
It's not possible you couldn't pass your exam if you really tried.
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what does not impossible mean?

heiner
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Meaning of "not possible #2 (permalink) Wed Oct 11, 2006 20:52 pm   Meaning of "not possible
 

.
I suspect Heiner may have actually intended to ask about question 3 in the test...
.
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Meaning of 'not impossible' #3 (permalink) Thu Oct 12, 2006 14:18 pm   Meaning of 'not impossible'
 

To me "not impossible" means possible, but it has a slightly different meaning. I think when you say something is "not impossible", you don't feel so certain about the possibility;but at the same time you cannot deny it. Am I correct??
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Meaning of 'not impossible' #4 (permalink) Thu Oct 12, 2006 15:05 pm   Meaning of 'not impossible'
 

Hi Shan and welcome to the forum!

I'd say you've hit the nail on the head. You could also say that not impossible means there is only a slight possibility.
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Meaning of 'not impossible' #5 (permalink) Thu Oct 12, 2006 21:52 pm   Meaning of 'not impossible'
 

Quote:
It's not impossible you couldn't pass your exam if you really tried.

To me, one 'not' in the sentence is extra, if we use impossible.

It's hardly possible that you would not be able to pass your exam if you really tried. - would be natural meaning.

Should be one 'not' less in the test sentence, or where do I make a mistake?
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Famous Sentence Strikes Back #6 (permalink) Thu Oct 12, 2006 22:10 pm   Famous Sentence Strikes Back
 

A lot of ink has already been spilled over this sentence!

'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility"
http://www.english-test.net/forum/ftopic6703.html
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