Header Ads Widget

IELTS Grammar: 'any product imaginable'

There was an interesting discussion in the comments below Wednesday's lesson about the phrase "I can buy any product imaginable".

Here's a summary of the questions in that discussion:

1) Why did I write any product imaginable instead of any imaginable product?
2) Would any imaginable product also be correct?
3) Is there a difference in meaning between the two phrases?

I'll try to answer without going deep into grammar, but if you really like the grammar side of things, have a look at this page (especially the part about 'the only decision possible' and 'the worst choice imaginable').

  1. The simple answer is that "any product imaginable" sounds better to me as a native speaker. This phrase isn't my own original creation; I've probably heard or read it many times in similar contexts, so it's the instinctive phrase to use.
    Note: There are 14,300 Google search results for this collocation.
  2. While "any imaginable product" is also grammatically correct, it seems just a little less natural to me. The emphasis is slightly different, and the meaning could also be understood in a slightly different way.
    Note: There are only 905 Google search results for this collocation.
  3. This is debatable. If I had to give you my view, I would say that an "imaginable product" could include products that don't currently exist (e.g. a flying car), whereas my phrase "any product imaginable" tends to refer to products that currently exist.

In the end, the Google results and my instinct as a native speaker are probably your best guide. In normal English usage, "any product imaginable" is the typical collocation.

Post a Comment