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Consider these sentences, please:

  1. Yes, I can imagine a few situations where these words could be used. (in response to the question: "can you imagine a few contexts where...?)

  2. I can imagine going to Canada.

Q: I know sentences 1) and 2) mean it is possible for the speaker to imagine... What if I add "If I want to put the effort into it" to sentences 1) and 2)? Would their meanings change?

  1. If I want to put the effort into it, I can imagine a few situations where these words could be used.

  2. I can imagine going to Canada If I want to.

In other words, does "I can imagine..." depend upon whether the speaker wants to imagine it or not?

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when speaker is saying 'I can imagine. . . .' he is saying that he is capable of imagining and he is doing it as he is speaking this sentance.

if he wants to or not that he can explain by adding specific words as you did in 4.

but 3 is better this way- If I want, I can imagine a few situations where these words could be used. or If I put the effort into it, I can imagine a few situations where these words could be used.

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