I want to write a sentence, but I don't know the right way to do it. I need to tell about dreams that I had(achieved dreams).

  • My dreams were to study abroad, get a well-paid job and a nice wife.


  • My dreams were studying abroad, getting a well-paid and a nice wife.

Or both are wrong?

  • I had those dreams. They already became reality.
    – Murilo
    Jan 13 '17 at 15:45
  • 1
    Wonderful! Then, "My dreams were to study abroad, to obtain a well-paying job, and to have a nice wife." Jan 13 '17 at 15:49
  • @MarkHubbard On the premise that the speaker accomplished all those, why is only first one correct? May 10 '18 at 13:44
  • I'm not sure I understand your question, but it would also be correct to write, "My dreams were studying abroad, obtaining a well-paying job, and having a nice wife." Does that help? To my ear, using the infinitives (to study, to obtain, to have) just sounds more natural. May 10 '18 at 15:29

It's fine to use either the infinitive or the gerund when making lists of things, but good style recommends you use the same for all the elements of the list:

I like to ski, to surf, and to shoot baskets.

I like skiing, surfing, and shooting baskets.

So in your example, just make sure all the elements have the same form:

My dreams were to study abroad, (to) get a well-paid job and (to) have a nice wife.

I dreamt of studying abroad, getting a good job, and marrying a nice woman.

You can also just list them as simple nouns (the related verbs are implied):

I dreamed of study abroad, a good job, and a nice wife.

Side note: it's not logical to say that you dream of "marrying a nice wife" because, at the time you marry her, she's not your "wife". Instead you say "I want to marry a nice girl/woman (and settle down, have kids, etc.)". However, it is fine to talk about marrying your wife in the past:

"I married my wife in February."


"I had married my wife in 2010 in a civil ceremony before a judge, but our actual wedding was a year later."


Both sentences tell me you had only three dreams/desires but you no longer have them. "My dreams are..." = you do still have them.

"...and a nice wife" presumably means "...and have/marry a nice wife" (1st sentence)/"...and having/marrying a nice wife (2nd sentence)".

In both sentences "well-paid job" should be "well-paying job" until one is no longer being paid. The subject verb = 'to get'; not 'to pay'. As long as you have a consistent 'to verb' + ing form before "well-paying", the sentence is correct.

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