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'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility"


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'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility" #1 (permalink) Fri Feb 24, 2006 14:41 pm   'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility"
 

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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Could you please explain the difference between it is not impossible and there's a possibility please?

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It's not possible #2 (permalink) Sat Feb 25, 2006 20:07 pm   It's not possible
 

Hi Egle,

If you use the phrase it's not possible ... in this context then you are saying that you will pass the exam. The expression there's no saying indicates that there is a chance that you will pass the exam - it isn't as definite as the other expression (it's not possible).

Alan
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There's no saying you couldn't #3 (permalink) Sun Feb 26, 2006 0:13 am   There's no saying you couldn't
 

It's rather late and maybe I'm not thinking straight, but shouldn't it rather be:

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

meaning there is a possibility?
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'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility" #4 (permalink) Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:44 am   'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility"
 

.
Thanks for nailing that down, Conchita -- I knew there was something illogical going on, but it was late for me last night, too, when I first took a look at this thread.
.
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Not impossible #5 (permalink) Sun Feb 26, 2006 13:09 pm   Not impossible
 

Hi Conchita,

I'm going to stick my neck out, I'm going to go out on a limb and I'm going to push my luck and no doubt going to regret it but I want to stand by the sentence in my test despite the reference to illogicality from the nameless contributor with the lugubrious facial expression:

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

I'll go back to the original expression:

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

To me
Quote:
There's no saying
conveys the idea of: Dismiss from your mind/Don't give a second thought to the idea/Perish the thought and so on. The question is whether
Quote:
It's not impossible
adequately conveys the same idea. I hope it does.

Alan
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'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility" #6 (permalink) Sun Feb 26, 2006 13:33 pm   'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility"
 

.
Alan,

There's no saying does not mean it's not impossible; there's no saying = it's not possible to say.

Please look at these:

(1) There's no saying / what the weather will be like tomorrow = it's not possible to say / what the weather will be like tomorrow.

(2) There's no saying / you couldn't pass your exam if you really tried = it's not possible to say / you couldn't pass your exam if you tried

Therefore:

(3) it's possible to say you could pass your exam if you really tried
and
(4) it's not impossible to say you could pass your exam if you really tried.

Your answer is:

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

Are (4) and (5) different, in your mind?
.
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Impossible #7 (permalink) Sun Feb 26, 2006 23:11 pm   Impossible
 

I know what There's no saying means.

In the sentence in the test There is no saying gives the same flavour of uncertainty as It's not impossible when you bear in mind that couldn't as used here really means wouldn't be able to.
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'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility" #8 (permalink) Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:33 am   'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility"
 

Hi,

I am sorry to harp on the same string for this old topic at so late a time but I ran into it right now for the first time. I am still sorry to say that I am far from understanding this double or triple negative riddle well but so interested in it. My feeling was,

There's no saying you couldn't pass your exam if you really tried = You could pass your exam if you really tried

(If we take off two 'not's here the effect should remain the same, both of which = No body would say you couldn't pass your exam if you really tried)

If this is true and right, then I think b) and d) are equally good to be the right answer because,

It's not possible (=It's impossible) you couldn't pass your exam if you really tried = It's possible you could pass your exam if you really tried = You could pass your exam if you really tried

Am I right?

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'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility" #9 (permalink) Wed Sep 17, 2008 23:14 pm   'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility"
 

It seems to me that this test confuses two idioms:

1. There's no saying [when it happened / what happened / why it happened, etc.].
2. I'm not saying you couldn't do XYZ if you tried.

#2 would seem to be the intended idiom. Answer (c), which expresses qualified assent, would then fit very well.

Though why the question should be listed as an "idiom with preposition", I'm not quite sure.

(To preempt the inevitable enquiry: I find myself on this thread after following a link.)

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'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility" #10 (permalink) Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:09 am   'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility"
 

Beeesneees,
'He considers Peter passing the exam is possible.'
Is this sentence correct?
Thanks.
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'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility" #11 (permalink) Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:11 am   'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility"
 

No.
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'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility" #12 (permalink) Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:30 am   'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility"
 

Beeesneees,
Could you please explain how this sentence is wrong?
What are the mistakes I have done in this sentence?
Please enlighten me with grammar points so that I will not make such mistakes in future.
Thanks.
Allifathima
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'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility" #13 (permalink) Tue Nov 04, 2014 18:39 pm   'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility"
 

Beeesneees,
Please find below the revised sentences :
1. He considers Peter's passing the exam possible.
2. He considers Peter passing the exam to be possible.
Are these revised sentences OK or not?
Please comment and explain.
Thanks.
Allifathima
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Re: 'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility" #14 (permalink) Wed Nov 05, 2014 14:57 pm   Re: 'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility"
 

Mister Micawber wrote:
(5) It's not impossible you couldn't pass your exam if you really tried.

Micawber, to me, semantically, it appears that 'it is possible (as 'it's not impossible') you couldn't pass your exam if you really tried', because when you really try, you hope to pass, which is a most probable positive expectation. Even then, the sentence in question wants to say that there is a bleak chance of your not passing it however really you try. (But the first option certainly confuses me)

Am I right in thinking so?
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'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility" #15 (permalink) Wed Nov 05, 2014 16:57 pm   'it is not impossible' vs. "there's a possibility"
 

Mister Micawber no longer frequents these forums, but if you read his reply thoroughly you will see that he is quoting a reply when he says that. The first few messages hold the crux of the argument.
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