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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    dream of/dream about

    In dictionaties there are examples with both prepositions without any differences in meaning. Are the prepositions in dream of/dream about, interchangeable? Can you give some examples in which they can't be interchangeable?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: dream of/dream about

    This is a pre-coffee answer, but with that caveat, I can't think of any examples where dream of/dream about aren't interchangeable.

    There might be some cases where one is more preferable or sounds more natural, but I can't think of any cases where they be absolutely incompatible.

    One example of preferability would be the novel by Philip K. Dick.

    "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"
    sounds better than "Do Androids Dream About Electric Sheep?"

    There's no difference in meaning, but of course the second one doesn't sound quite as literary or poetic.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  3. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: dream of/dream about

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    There's no difference in meaning, but of course the second one doesn't sound quite as literary or poetic.
    In a coursebook I saw two pictures whose purpose was to demonstrate the 'difference' between 'to dream of' and 'to dream about'. In the first one the girl was obviously daydreaming (her eyes were open) and there was a young man in a circle above her, in the second picture there was a dog with its eyes closed and above it there was a circle with a bone inside (the dog was seeing a dream). As far as I understood, they meant that the girl is dreaming OF a young man (= daydreaming, having him on her mind) while the dog was dreaming ABOUT a bone in its sleep, it was its dream. Is there some logic in such an exercise for a native speaker?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: dream of/dream about

    No, but all examples so far use nouns. For verbs, I'd probably choose 'of'. But it's not a rule.
    "I dreamt of going to Italy."
    "I dreamt about Italy."
    "I dreamt of being an astronaut."
    And sometimes you don't need either: "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

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