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I can say that something exists or that is does not exist. Should there not be some way to express the opposite of the verb "to exist" as a substitution? Or can something the doesn't exist be allowed to have a positive verb at all? Or do verbs ever only have one opposite? "not sit" could be "stand" or "lie", so that wouldn't, but "not breathe" seems to be "suffocate" and maybe not anything else.

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    If something doesn't "exist" (even in your febrile imagination) then how could you even think of "it" actually doing anything? A physical thing that ceases to exist could be said to dematerialize, after which it isn't "there" to "do" anything at all (except maybe rematerialize). But if it never existed at all? Also - forget the idea that every word has an "opposite". It's not reflective of most use of language. – FumbleFingers Aug 5 '15 at 18:53
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    I'm not aware of any word that could substitute exist, but I think there is a good explanation why. If you talk about something that does not exist, you want to stress its existence and negating it. – Sander Aug 5 '15 at 18:53
  • sure, but you may say, "it is existent" or "it is nonexistent", so why not be able to say "it exists" or "it ____"? – teepee Aug 5 '15 at 18:55
  • To be or not to be – that is the question. – Jake Regier Aug 5 '15 at 19:00
  • My answer is therefore not to be. :-) – Jake Regier Aug 5 '15 at 19:00
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there are many words:Nonexistent, it was Imagined or be Imaginary, it could be a hallucination or be hallucinatory, fictional or fictitious, illusory, fanciful.

I could go on, but the links have synonyms too.

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    I'm wondering about verb forms of it rather than adjectives. – teepee Aug 5 '15 at 18:59
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    imagine, halucinate, fictionalize, archaicly there is also fancy. there are verb forms for virtually all the words I gave you if you would look. oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/fancy – Yeshe Aug 5 '15 at 19:04
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    I think we are looking for an intransitive verb. – chasly from UK Aug 5 '15 at 19:09
  • In that case I am running into a wall here. My linguistic/ideological background is keeping me from constructing a sentence or senario where such a word would ever be used. – Yeshe Aug 5 '15 at 19:13
  • The opposite to "to exist" would be useful where something does not exist in relation to something else, e.g. "footnotes do not exist on this document", or "a balcony that does not exist saves money" or "it is possible that a motive for the crime does not exist". Also, in software, things do not exist all the time! For instance, a cell in a spreadsheet may or may not have a value - in the case that it does not, the value does not exists. – tar Nov 23 '16 at 16:22

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