The ocean is so deep but you can’t even realize that.

Is there something wrong with that sentence? Is it better to use "it" in the end of the sentence if we speak about something that was mentioned in the beginning of it? Is it better to use some other conjunction instead of "but" in that context? For example, "that": The ocean is so deep that you can’t even realize that.

  • Can you try paraphrasing the sentence in a couple of ways? I'm not sure what it's intended to mean. Dec 28, 2021 at 6:48
  • @Luke Sawczak, If that sentence is good/common, then I am satisfied.
    – Sergei
    Dec 28, 2021 at 7:47
  • 3
    I wouldn't say it was 'common' to say that someone is unable to realise that the ocean is deep. "You don't realise how deep the ocean is", perhaps. Dec 28, 2021 at 9:56
  • 1
    If you looked at your location on a nautical chart, you'd realise exactly how deep the ocean was. Dec 28, 2021 at 11:08
  • @Sergei it is neither. It's not easy to tell what exactly it's trying to say. Dec 28, 2021 at 16:02

1 Answer 1


Your sentence:

"The ocean is so deep but you can’t even realize that"

means that the ocean is very deep, but it's impossible to understand that.

You can use the word "it" or the word "that" at the end of that sentence, and the meaning will be the same, and neither will be grammatically unacceptable. Neither version is better or worse than the other, and which word you use is just a matter of preference.

You also asked about whether or not the word "but" could be replaced with something "better". Again there's certainly other options, but they are not obligatory because the way you have already used the word "but" is perfectly acceptable. You could use a different word, such as "however", which may look more professional in some contexts (it's sometimes frowned upon to use the word "but" in formal writing), but in casual speech it's fine to use the word "but" in the way that you did.

More than one of the comments have suggested that the sentence needs recasting or rephrasing, and you've also received multiple suggestions for alternative phrases in the comments. My recommendation would be to use:

"The ocean is very deep, however it would be extremely difficult for you to realize that."

I will give explanations for my choices:

  • I used "very" instead of "so", because the word "so" can mean other things, and in this context it's also not very much preferred in written English (it's more of a word that you'd hear used in casual speech, but less so in formal writing).
  • I put a comma between "deep" and "but", because I prefer a pause there. Not everyone has the same writing style, and this comma is not mandatory, but I prefer it.
  • I have replaced "can't even" with "extremely difficult", because as this comment by Michael Woke Harvey says, it is not impossible for you to know how deep the ocean is, it is just difficult, so the word "can't" is not completely correct here.
  • I already explained my reasoning for using "however" instead of "but" here.
  • I personally preferred to use the word "that" at the end instead of "it", but both are acceptable and I don't believe one choice leads to a big improvement compared to the other choice.
  • 1
    You gave a really nice answer.
    – Sergei
    Jan 1, 2022 at 11:00
  • I guess, if I don't want to offend the interlocutor, I would avoid "for you": "The ocean is very deep, however it would be extremely difficult to realize that." Would this version be fine during a conversation?
    – Sergei
    Jan 1, 2022 at 11:11
  • Or "The ocean is very deep, however it would be extremely difficult to realize that during our conversation." It seems, this version would be the best choice to express that idea.
    – Sergei
    Jan 1, 2022 at 11:15

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