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  1. #1
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default a dream come true

    I don't understand this sentence:
    "To become heptathlon champion at the Sydney Olympics was a dream come true."

    I read the sentence in an article called "Britain's Top Medal Hopes" which was about Denise Lewis.

    Could someone explain the sentence, please? I would understand it if it read "it was a dream THAT came true" os something similar... However, there is no "that" and that is why is seems quite confusing to me.

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: a dream come true

    Hello Lenka

    1. To become heptathlon champion at the Sydney Olympics was a dream come true.

    The entire underlined portion is the subject of "was"; "a dream come true" is the subject complement (i.e. it tells us more about the subject).

    It is quite common to use a to-infinitive clause as the subject; cf. these examples (all from Google):

    2. To teach is to learn twice.

    3. To know her is to love her.

    4. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

    When you see a to-infinitive clause as the subject, it means the action expressed by the infinitive is the subject.

    In your sentence, a gerund would also be fine (perhaps better):

    5. Becoming heptathlon champion at the Sydney Olympics was a dream come true.

    Does that make it any clearer? Let me know if not!

    All the best,

    MrP

  3. #3
    rajan is offline Member
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    Default Re: a dream come true

    Can you please tell me that in "a dream come true" - come true is a reduced from of a dream which come true.

    Regards

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    Hello Lenka
    1. To become heptathlon champion at the Sydney Olympics was a dream come true.
    The entire underlined portion is the subject of "was"; "a dream come true" is the subject complement (i.e. it tells us more about the subject).
    It is quite common to use a to-infinitive clause as the subject; cf. these examples (all from Google):
    2. To teach is to learn twice.
    3. To know her is to love her.
    4. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
    When you see a to-infinitive clause as the subject, it means the action expressed by the infinitive is the subject.
    In your sentence, a gerund would also be fine (perhaps better):
    5. Becoming heptathlon champion at the Sydney Olympics was a dream come true.
    Does that make it any clearer? Let me know if not!
    All the best,
    MrP

  4. #4
    Fazzu's Avatar
    Fazzu is offline Member
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    Default Re: a dream come true

    Yes Rajan,'a dream come true' means a dream which has come true.

  5. #5
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: a dream come true

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic
    Hello Lenka

    1. To become heptathlon champion at the Sydney Olympics was a dream come true.

    The entire underlined portion is the subject of "was"; "a dream come true" is the subject complement (i.e. it tells us more about the subject).

    It is quite common to use a to-infinitive clause as the subject; cf. these examples (all from Google):

    2. To teach is to learn twice.

    3. To know her is to love her.

    4. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

    When you see a to-infinitive clause as the subject, it means the action expressed by the infinitive is the subject.

    In your sentence, a gerund would also be fine (perhaps better):

    5. Becoming heptathlon champion at the Sydney Olympics was a dream come true.

    Does that make it any clearer? Let me know if not!

    All the best,

    MrP

    Thank you very much for your answer, MrPedantic, however, my question is a bit different. Anyway, I am aware of the fact I asked the question in a bad way, so you couldn't understand what I really meant.
    I don't understand why "To become... ...was a dream come true" there is no "that" or"which" or something like this between "dream" and "come". And why is "come" used in present simpl tense? I'd rather say: "To become...was a dream that came true."

  6. #6
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: a dream come true

    Ah! I see. Sorry, I did misunderstand.

    I would agree that it's a past participle:

    1. It is a dream (that has) come true.

    Cf.

    2. It was a prank gone wrong = it was a prank (that had) gone wrong.

    It is an unusual usage, which is probably why it sounds odd to you!

    All the best,

    MrP

  7. #7
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    Default Re: a dream come true

    Hello, Lenka,
    A dream come true is of the same participial pattern as the house built by Jack or the travellers gone astray.
    I think the problem of come true lies in the difficulty of perceiving come as the Past Participle, smth passive.
    Do you agree with me?

  8. #8
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: a dream come true

    Thank you all, I believe I can understand it well now...

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