(Contributed by Ben)
Today, I’d like to talk you through a few words that look and sound similar, but have different meanings. They’re all pairs of opposites, and most of them are quite useful.
1. POSSIBLE and IMPOSSIBLE
These are very common words. If it’s possible, it can be done. If it’s impossible it can’t be.
2. PRACTICAL and IMPRACTICAL.
This is slightly more complex. If something is impractical, it is still possible, but it’s inconvenient. For example, if you want to carry your computer over a river, it would be practical to carry it over a bridge. It would be possible (but impractical) to swim in the water while you carry the computer over your head.
* How practical would it be to link all the printers together?
* I wanted to bring a lot more luggage, but it was impractical.
* I’m very practical, so I built my own cupboard.
3. FEASIBLE and UNFEASIBLE
(pronounced FEEZ-ib-uhl and ‘un-FEEZ-ib-ul’. N.B ‘unfeasible’ is the only word on this list that starts with ‘un’).
These words are very similar to ‘practical’ and ‘impractical’. The words are normally used interchangeably.
One difference I’ve read is this: If something is feasible, then IN THEORY it can be done. If it’s practical, it can really be done IN PRACTICE. For example, an idea might be feasible because the right technology has been invented, but not practical because it’s too expensive. Businesses conduct ‘feasibility studies’, which find out if their plans are feasible (and practical).
* It’s feasible that alien life could exist.
* I find your proposal unfeasible, for several reasons.
In the second part of this blog post, I will tell you about three more words: implausible, incredible and inconceivable, as well as their opposites.