4

I am not good at English contexts. I used to say "Nothing is impossible" when someone denies/worries about something. In one website I have seen a new form that is "Impossible is nothing". But when I compare both sentences, I think the second form is correct. (When I translate it into my mother tongue.)

What is the difference between these two sentences and which should be used in what situations? Are both the same?

2

Both phrases are valid, but they both mean slightly different things. The phrase "impossible is nothing" evolved from "nothing is impossible".

Consider the following dialogue:

Person A: We can't do X - it would be impossible!

Person B: Nothing is impossible.

In this scenario, person A claims that doing X is not possible, but person B claims that this is not true. "Nothing is impossible" is a rejection of the claim that X cannot be done, by suggesting that problems abandoned for being "impossible" are typically "hard" rather than "impossible".

The phrase "impossible is nothing" is a very modern extension of this phrase into a boast, as shown below:

Person B: Nothing is impossible.

Person C: For me, impossible is nothing.

In this scenario, person B claims as before that many things people think are impossible are merely hard. But person C is saying that such problems are nothing - that is, trivial - for him.

So in summary, "Nothing is impossible" is a motivational phrase rejecting claims that something is "impossible" by claiming that it is only "difficult" rather than "impossible".

But "Impossible is nothing" is a boast - a claim that the speaker is able to easily perform feats that other people would think impossible to achieve.

  • Now somewhat i am clear. "Nothing is impossible" denotes that no jobs are hard. "Impossible is nothing" denotes that pride speech after an achievement. Thanks Matt – Gibbs May 9 '14 at 6:25
1

The basic difference is that "Nothing is impossible" is a relatively common sentence of standard English, while "Impossible is nothing" is non-standard and doesn't mean much of anything in particular. "Impossible is nothing" is, at best, wordplay. It's possibly acceptable in contrived contexts, but it's not something people normally say and has no obvious meaning.

"Nothing is impossible" claims that no activity, no matter how far-fetched, is outside the realm of possibility. Some things may be difficult or improbable, but (this sentence claims) nothing is actually impossible.

"Impossible is nothing" doesn't mean much and people don't generally say it. I recommend that you don't say it either.

-1

The first phrase:

Nothing is Impossible

is basically saying "everything is possible"

The second phrase:

Impossible is Nothing

is basically saying there is no such thing as impossible (impossible does not exist).
Reference: Impossible is Nothing Quote

Outside of some other context I suppose they mean about the same thing.

In regular usage though, I think you will only find "Nothing is Impossible". "Impossible is Nothing" is more likely literary or artistic usage.

  • So both are same.. We are overusing one over another. Am i clear? – Gibbs May 9 '14 at 5:39
  • All I'm saying is that in normal conversation you would use "Nothing is Impossible", while "Impossible is Nothing" is (probably) a more literary phrase. Its not a matter of overuse, just which is more appropriate based on the context. – user3169 May 9 '14 at 6:51
-1

Both are the same. They all can be used in the same sentence. But Nothing is impossible is commonly used.

Let's say you're trying to encourage your sister who is going to have examinations soon.

You can do this dear. Nothing is impossible if you work hard.

or

You can do this dear. If you work hard, impossible is nothing.

  • Can't we say that "If you work hard, nothing is impossible"?? – Gibbs May 9 '14 at 6:27
  • We can say that too. That is the reason why I previously said that they're the same. – Nkwama May 9 '14 at 6:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.