I failed to find a way to reconcile the gap between reality and my ideal.

I tried two expressions, 'bring down the gap' and 'overcome the gap', but I realized that the gap cannot be brought down or overcome. Therefore, I changed it to 'reconcile'. What would be the right word instead?

  • 1
    This is going off on a tangent, but I wonder what the "(self-made)" is doing there. I can't make heads or tails of it. If it is really part of the quote, you should rewrite. No word may hang around stranded like that.
    – RegDwigнt
    Dec 31, 2013 at 11:48
  • @Reg, it just means that the sentence is one the asker wrote himself; it's not a quote of someone else's writing. Dec 31, 2013 at 15:14
  • Oh I see. Well, that explains it.
    – RegDwigнt
    Dec 31, 2013 at 15:15
  • In this sort of context you would more likely 'reconcile the difference' (an accounting term), rather than the gap. I can still understand it but as you've pointed out its not beautifully eloquent.
    – Dom
    Jan 1, 2014 at 23:45

4 Answers 4


You could bridge the gap.

I often use this term in the slightly pretentious 'bridge the understanding gap'


close/ reduce

I failed to find a way to close the gap between reality and my ideal.


Commitment to being fully present through all levels of being will close the gap between you and what is happening, the gap between you and experience. Kwong Roshi often used to say, “Close the gap, even just a tiny bit, close the gap."


There are several reasons for believing that Europe can close the gap to the extent required to make NATO a working military alliance.


Technology moves with the speed of the human imagination, but regulation advances at the speed of the political process. It’s really no contest, but every now and then regulation makes an ambitious attempt to close the gap.


Nash, for his part, has become convinced welfare is not the solution to the vexed issue of indigenous disadvantage.

"Our strong view is that helping indigenous Australia to engage with the real economy is a core way to close the gap," he says.

"So if we put the welfare economy to one side, it's absolutely fundamental to help them develop skills and participate in enterprises that have sustainable commercial value.

  • Suppose I use "gap" this way: there is a gap in your answer, then can I say, for example, that you cannot bring down the gap in your answer, so that I won't accept it?
    – benlogos
    Jan 1, 2014 at 3:52
  • reduce would be a better alternative than bring down. Btw, close does not necessarily mean to make it zero, only to bring the two parts closer, that is, to reduce the gap.
    – Kris
    Jan 1, 2014 at 5:56
  • I think you are right, many thanks for your answer!!
    – benlogos
    Jan 1, 2014 at 6:20

What you generally do with a gap is fill it.


If, as you said, the gap cannot be brought down or overcome, then you reconcile yourself to the gap. This means you bring yourself to accept it. (The Free Dictionary, definition 3).

Also, without contradicting your premise, you cannot reconcile the gap, as this would mean to settle or resolve, or to make compatible or consistent. (ibid., definitions 2 and 4.)

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