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I try to expand my vocabulary by reading books, but always find difficult sentences like this one:

And this appeared very strange to most of my Western friends. They could not quite picture to themselves how a man of Western birth and upbringing could have so fully, and apparently with no mental reservations what-ever, identified himself with the Muslim world[.]

The Road To Mecca, by Muhammad Asad

  • What is this quote from? Is there a word missing after mental? – TRiG Nov 15 '14 at 2:02
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    @TRiG There are actually a few omitted words. I've proposed an edit that completes the quote and adds a link to the source. – Joshua Taylor Jul 13 '16 at 12:49
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"They couldn't (quite) imagine [...]" is synonymous.

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If you cannot picture something, it means you cannot imagine or get an idea about how it happens.

Out of a few meanings of the verb picture, one is...

visualize or imagine

Here, the author describes that the western friends cannot get an idea about how a man ...

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