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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Incomprehensible

    Suppose I've sent several letters of complaint, and it's been over three months. The company has requested several ridiculously unreasonable things of me in order to proceed my complaint. The complaint is yet to be resolved. Does the word incomprehensible fit in here?

    "It's incomprehensible why this case's been taking so long."
    Last edited by Glizdka; 20-Oct-2019 at 19:34. Reason: Whoops

  2. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Incomprehensible

    Not really.

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    #3

    Re: Incomprehensible

    That was my guess. I knew the word incomprehensible was somewhat equivalent to unintelligible, as in "My writing gets incomprehensible when I start experimenting with vocabulary I'm unsure of", but I've recently found this entry on Merriam-Webster.

    It's incomprehensible to me that he could have acted that way.

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Incomprehensible

    So what you mean is expressed by the following, right?:

    I don't understand why the case is taking so long.
    I have no idea why the case is taking so long.

    Is there another nuance that you're trying to get across that the above formulations don't have?

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    #5

    Re: Incomprehensible

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    So what you mean is expressed by the following, right?:

    I don't understand why the case is taking so long.
    I have no idea why the case is taking so long.
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Is there another nuance that you're trying to get across that the above formulations don't have?
    No.

  6. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Incomprehensible

    The M-W example sentence is expressing a thought something like 'I cannot believe it could be possible that that could happen' or 'It makes no sense that that could happen'. The word incomprehensible works fine there.

    I think your original sentence is a different because the fact is that it is happening. What you're trying to express is that you cannot explain why it is happening. The word incomprehensible doesn't work well there, I think.

    There's a difference between understanding that something is true and understanding why something is true. I think incomprehensible is used only in the former sense.

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    #7

    Re: Incomprehensible

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    The M-W example sentence is expressing a thought something like 'I cannot believe it could be possible that that could happen' or 'It makes no sense that that could happen'. The word incomprehensible works fine there.

    I think your original sentence is a different because the fact is that it is happening. What you're trying to express is that you cannot explain why it is happening. The word incomprehensible doesn't work well there, I think.

    There's a difference between understanding that something is true and understanding why something is true. I think incomprehensible is used only in the former sense.
    Thank you once again, Master. This is precisely what I needed!

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    #8

    Re: Incomprehensible

    Note that while we use "what's" in speech, to mean "what has", it doesn't really work when you use the actual noun, so "the case's" doesn't really work. It looks like a possessive.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: Incomprehensible

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Note that while we use "what's" in speech, to mean "what has", it doesn't really work when you use the actual noun, so "the case's" doesn't really work. It looks like a possessive.
    I've never thought of that... that's a great point!

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    #10

    Re: Incomprehensible

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    Suppose I've sent several letters of complaint, and it's been over three months. The company has requested several ridiculously unreasonable things of me in order to process my complaint. The complaint is yet to be resolved. Does the word incomprehensible fit in here?

    "It's incomprehensible why this case's been taking so long."
    The word "unbelievable" might work.
    Not a professional teacher

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