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One can only imagine what that must be like to endure.

It is a script of Harry potter and the prisoner of Azkaban. and the whole sentence is, A dementor's kiss. One can only imagine what that must be like to endure.

I've studied that "what" is abbreviation of "the thing which (that)".

Then in this sentence, "what that" is "(the thing which->)what + that "?

I'm confused about the usage of "that" in this situation.

And I want to know about "be like to endure" .

I've searched it in dictionary, but I can't find proper definition.

Is there a meaning of "to endure"?

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  • Please give us the source of this sentence and, if possible, a link to the text. Thank you. Jan 25, 2021 at 12:23
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    It is a script of Harry potter and the prisoner of Azkaban. and the whole sentence is, A dementor's kiss. One can only imagine what that must be like to endure. Jan 25, 2021 at 12:57
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    What doesn't always mean the thing which. What it must be like means how it must be. Your sentence could be expressed as "One can only imagine what it must be like to endure that." You should look up endure in the dictionary. Jan 25, 2021 at 13:01
  • I don't normally take issue with Rowling's phrasing, but I don't like this one (I'd much prefer One can only imagine what it must be like to endure that). Same as I wonder what he would be like to meet, which I'd rather see as I wonder what it would be like to meet him. Except that with the endure one, that is probably superfluous (because it can be seen as referring back to "a dementor's kiss" anyway), but we can't discard him in my meet example. Jan 30, 2023 at 12:18

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The that here refers to something that is not in this sentence. This sentence must be part of a larger discussion, and the that is what is being discussed. Thus, the listener will know what the word that means in this sentence.

To be like something is to be similar to it. For example, jogging is like running.

Endure is to "go through" something, or experience something. To have it happen to you.

So the sentence expresses that the speaker is wondering what someone else felt like as they experienced some event that is being talked about. Perhaps the speaker is talking about his friend who ran in a marathon, and the speaker has never done that.

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