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  1. Key Member
    Student or Learner
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      • Chinese
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      • China
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      • China

    • Join Date: Nov 2003
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    unexplained and inexplicable

    Dear teachers,

    Could you please explain the differences between "unexplained" and "inexplicable"
    According to Cambridge Dictionary Online:
    unexplained: describes events, behaviour, etc. for which people do not know or understand the reason,e.g.
    an unexplained death/noise
    He was shot dead earlier this year in unexplained circumstances.
    inexplicable: unable to be explained or understood
    Could you please kindly explain if I can replace "unexplained" in the above sentences with "inexplicable"? If I can't could you please explain why?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.


  2. Soup's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
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      • Canada
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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,882

    Re: unexplained and inexplicable

    1. unexplained (note, the prefix un- means opposite of). That X is unexplained means that there is a plausible explanation for X but not at present.

    2. inexplicable (note, the prefix in- means lack of, none). That X is inexplicable means that X cannot be explained as in understood, ever.


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