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  1. #1
    phorntita's Avatar
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    Default stumbling block/obstacle

    I need an advice from you whether these 2 words have any difference in connotation (or does it have any stronger meaning than the other one) when used in the same sentence like:
    A lack of some qualifications can be a major stumbling block / obstacle to finding good jobs. or some other sentences like this
    Your answer is urgently needed
    I meant whether I can make a replacement / substitution with these 2 words when appear in any sentence.
    Last edited by phorntita; 11-Aug-2009 at 11:21.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: stumbling block/obstacle

    They mean the same here, but obstacle is more formal and descriptive, and stumbling block is informal and metaphorical. I'd go with obstacle. They are similar but not always interchangeable.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: stumbling block/obstacle

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    They are similar but not always interchangeable.
    Please give me some examples of when it can't be interchangeable!
    What about these 2 sentences?
    1)A lack of some qualifications can lead to major stumbling block/ obstacle to your promotion.
    2) A major stumbling block to your happiness is the fear that you may have cancer.
    They could be interchanged here, couldn't they?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: stumbling block/obstacle

    I just mean you don't always want to use more colourful, informal language, for social reasons. Semantically, they are equivalent.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: stumbling block/obstacle

    In my opinion, a stumbling block is something smaller than an obstacle, like a pothole you must drive around. An obstacle would be more like a tree fallen across the road. A stumbling block slows you down, whereas an obstacle stops you in your tracks.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: stumbling block/obstacle

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahmiam View Post
    In my opinion, a stumbling block is something smaller than an obstacle, like a pothole you must drive around. An obstacle would be more like a tree fallen across the road. A stumbling block slows you down, whereas an obstacle stops you in your tracks.
    Thank you for visualizing it.

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