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I'd like to ask what the phrase "if not altogether impossible" implies in the following context:
Sometimes the challenges come from others. Every now and then, you findyour sunlight blocked by other leaves. You are left in the dark and your photosynthesis grinds to a halt.
We all have experience with such a situation. There are always negative people around who will cast their shadows over us. By their words or actions they can put us in a state of darkness where it is difficult, if not altogether impossible, to progress spiritually.
Does the phrase in question mean it is very difficult, but still possible (to progress spiritually), or does it imply that it is entirely impossible?
perhaps you don't understand why it says "if". We can rewrite the sentence like this:
If it is not altogether impossible, (then atleast) it is difficult to progress spritually.
If not this then that.
Thank you very much, Khosro.
even though: an enthusiastic if small audience.
If | Define If at Dictionary.com
I don't know if I can explain it to the others in the same way I understand it and I might be wrong. It's not a matter of taste but I do not consider it just my taste.
In my opinion, "if" has a concept, I'd better say a function. From this concept/function some different meanings emerge. Meanings such as "in case of", "when", "even though", ... . And I think if we can realize the main concept/function of "if" then we can produce those other meanings easily.
Last edited by Khosro; 12-Feb-2011 at 18:21.
Incidentally, do you really care that you haven't been thanked in a thread while some other guy has? I would have thought it's your knowledge that's important, and not the number of thanks you've got.
altogether = completely
altogether impossible = completely impossible
not altogether impossible = not completely impossible
if not altogether impossible = although not completely impossible
I came to a different result! (which is not much different!)