"imagine + noun" vs. "imagine what it would..."

< Previous | Next >

meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, please see the following example conversation (in a face-to-face survey) I made up.

Interviewer:
If there were such a thing as a roasted green tea cream soda, would you buy it?
Respondent: I don't know. I can't imagine _________________________.

1. its taste
2. what it would taste like


Is #2 just a long-winded way of saying #1?
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I cannot imagine the respondent focusing on taste alone. They would be more likely to say "I can't imagine what it is".

    However in answer to the question just about #1 and #2, they mean the same, and #2 isn't particularly long-winded. If someone did respond to your question with a comment only about taste, I think they would be more likely to use #2.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    (Is "like" unnecessary after "it is"?)
    Adding "like" changes the meaning, suggesting you know roughly what type of thing it is, and you are looking for something to compare it with so you can visualise it better.

    Omitting "like" suggests you don't even know what type of thing it is.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top