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I heard this on TV

Sometimes you make choices and sometimes choices make you.

I understand the first part, but what does

sometimes choices make you

mean?

From what I understand, a choice is when you can decide between two or more things. You get to pick which thing you want, which route to go, etc.

It was your parent's choice to have intimate time and you ended up getting created as a result of that choice.

Is there any other examples or metaphors that could be meant by that phrase?

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4  
It means you are in Soviet Russia! –  Nate Eldredge Jul 31 at 6:42
4  
Heh! In Soviet Russia, you don't get jokes -- jokes get you! (into trouble) ;-) –  Anaksunaman Aug 2 at 9:28
    
It means that sometimes choices cause you to change as a person. While you think you are who you are because of your past choices.(choices made you!) The truth is in some part you did those choices because of who you are. (you made the choices!) And when it comes to my opinion: choices made sweet love to you... lol –  Berker Yüceer Aug 6 at 14:39

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted
+50

sometimes choices make you

It means that sometimes the choices you make influence who you become as a person.

As noted by @Sam I Am, this is not a normal phrase. It is designed to be the reverse of the first half of the sentence (you make choices), and seems to be ironically implying that while you expect to have control of your decisions, sometimes those decisions can effect (control) you.

In this case, it is also implied that these choices are especially important, hard, or have dramatic (possibly unexpected) results. Less obviously, it is likely implied that some portions of these choices are negative in some way (though this may not always be the case).

Example

During your childhood, you become a delinquent, and end up committing a crime that lands you in prison for 10 years. This choice may "make you" into a fundamentally different person than if you had not gone to prison. Perhaps you now feel compelled to work helping criminals give up their lifestyles (because prison had such a negative effect on your life) rather than if you had not gone to prison and become, say, a wealthy banker.

Alternate Phrasing

Is there any other examples or metaphors that could be meant by that phrase?

The closest I would say would be:

"You (We) are the sum (total) of (all) our experiences"

Meaning what you experience in life shapes your personality, outlook on life and general approach to living.

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I'm pretty certain that "Sometimes choices make you" is intended to sound backwards.

You can construct a context where your initial guess, that your Parent's choices causing you to be created, would be a valid interpretation, but that's not likely how this is meant.

I think that there are 2 likely scenarios here.

  1. You are defined by the choices you make. Your choices are the parts of you that people see, or at least some of them. You can take the word "make" to be a more active form of "made of" "You are made of your choices."

  2. your choices cause you to become different. Your past choices have caused you to be the person you are.

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Sometimes you make choices and sometimes choices make you.

This is a nice sentence, and quite common. I understand your problem, and if explained with context and examples it would make sense. I see from your post that you have no problem with the first part of the sentence, so I'm not going to explain that part.

Let's concentrate on -

....sometimes choices make you.

You make various choices based on something - be it some evidence, some poll result, statistics, your instinct and many more.

Suppose, you and your friend Sam happened to come across a life altering opportunity. A new football coach came into your town. You decided to take coaching from him, but Sam decided to carry on with his normal daily routine. Ten years on, and your became a great footballer, but Sam became a common man. So here your choice made you a footballer.

Now does it make sense?

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Personally I think it means some choices you make and are insignificant like which cheese you'll buy from the local supermarket, but other times the choices you make in the past define who you are and creates your persona in the present, like a choice to have children would define you in the future as (I hope) a responsible parent who is the guardian of their love.

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Sometimes you make choices and sometimes choices make you.

I believe that this expression should be understood within the context of one's own choices, excluding the choices of others, so your interpretation that your parents' choice to perform horizontal gene recombination made you is not to be included as part of the discussion.

This expression is rooted in the idea that choices have consequences, and that some of those consequences are large enough to change your life. Indeed, there are times when we make choices, but there are also times that our previous choices change who or what we are without our volition.

To illustrate, consider the choice of experimenting with illegal drugs.

It is up to you whether or not you choose to start using illegal drugs. However, this choice will "make you" because in the future you could end up in jail ("make you into a criminal"), in rehab ("make you into an addict"), or worse, in a shallow grave ("make you into a casualty of a gang war"). You only chose to start using drugs, but you didn't choose to become any of the latter things (at least, not at the time you started using drugs), and yet your one choice led to you, that is your life, to being changed in some major way.

Of course, not all choices have such massively life-changing effects. Your choice of what cereal to eat probably won't affect your social status (it might lead to diabetes though :D).

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