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Here is a scene (at 03:06) from Friends Season 4 Episode 13 "The One with Rachel's Crush".

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There is no anyone else in the room where Rachel is just practicing asking Joshua out.

To describe the scene, I guess I can say

Rachel is talking to an imaginary/virtual person who only exists in her mind.

To describe that person in this context, should I use "imaginary", "virtual" or some other modifier? Are there any other expressions more natural could be used here?

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I wouldn't describe it as either an imaginary or virtual person. Given that Rachel is an adult, that would give the impression that you think she’s a bit off mentally.

All she's doing here in this scene is practicing what she's going to say when the guy she's interested in shows up. It's a very common trope in sitcoms and dramas; it's a way of letting the audience in on her inner thoughts. If you want to emphasize that she was practicing outloud when no one was there, you could say something like, "Rachel was practicing outloud what she wanted to say while no one was in the room with her."

To say in this context that she was talking to an imaginary individual would on the contrary convey that she somehow thought she was interacting with someone else in that soliloquy.

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  • Thanks for your excellent explanation. Assume I'm preparing for my presentation tomorrow, is it clear and natural to say "I'm practicing out loud my presentation while no one was in the room with me"? – WXJ96163 Aug 3 at 7:21

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