5

I have dreamt all my life to own a beautiful maroon-coloured car.

Is the above sentence grammatically correct?

The solution which I have says dreamt is followed by preposition of so accordingly correct sentence should be:

I have dreamt all my life of owning a beautiful maroon-coloured car.

Is it correct?

  • 1
    If the reader knows that "maroon" is a color, the word "coloured" or "colored" is redundant. (It is still grammatically correct, although many people would hyphenate "maroon-coloured" or "maroon-colored".) – Jasper Jul 11 '17 at 20:31
  • 1
    @Jasper: natural languages allow for redundancy, which reinforces meaning. Redundancy in engineered systems and in information exchange is not a bad thing. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 11 '17 at 21:14
  • @Jasper Sorry, it happened because of auto correct of my mobile, didn't notice it. Editing the question. – user212388 Jul 12 '17 at 0:47
  • Your second version is fine, idiomatic and evocative. The phrase "all my life" is in exactly the right position to modify the verb dream. Disregard all the foofaraw and stick with that version. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jul 12 '17 at 2:48
10

The first version

I have dreamt all my life to own a beautiful maroon coloured car.

is wrong because the verb is "to dream of" not "to dream to." The second version

I have dreamt all my life of owning a beautiful maroon coloured car.

although more correct, is still clumsy in splitting the verb. I would prefer

I have dreamt of owning a beautiful maroon coloured car all my life.

| improve this answer | |
  • 15
    Honestly I prefer "All my life I have dreamt of owning a beautiful maroon coloured car." I don't like having "all my life" at the end of the sentence. – Arthur Dent Jul 11 '17 at 16:20
  • 11
    Minor addition: It should be maroon-colored car, with the hyphen. – Nayuki Jul 11 '17 at 16:20
  • 1
    @Nayuki or a beautiful car colored maroon ? – Weather Vane Jul 11 '17 at 16:26
  • 2
    @FacticiusVir I would say it is exactly the other way round. Starting with All my life makes it the more important idea. Putting it at the back introduces the car first, making it irrelevant whether you dreamt of it all of your life, or only recently. – Weather Vane Jul 11 '17 at 16:46
  • 4
    I find your last version very awkward, because "all my life" could refer to how long you will own the car, rather than how long you have had dreams of owning the car. That is, "I have dreamed that I will, for all my life, own...". Of course this parsing is a little silly because we don't think of cars as lasting so long, and therefore the reader can resolve the author's ambiguity. But it's better to write the unambiguous sentence instead: "I have dreamt all my life of owning...", or "All my life I have dreamt...". – amalloy Jul 11 '17 at 20:06
7

Actually, the statement is grammatical, but it doesn't make sense. Using the infinitive to own here implies that the goal of dreaming was to own a red car. In other words, it means something like

  1. I have dreamt all my life in order to own a beautiful maroon coloured car.

Instead, to mark the object/subject of the dream, we use of:

  1. I have dreamt all my life of owning a beautiful maroon coloured car.

This makes sense.

Naturally, it's possible to use a to-infinitive and of in the same sentence with the verb dream:

  1. I have dreamt all my life of riches and fame to keep my spirits high.
| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Your explanation is consistent with the fact that it is correct to say "I have wanted all my life to own a beautiful maroon-coloured car." – Jasper Jul 12 '17 at 1:04
  • Isn't "dreaming to own something" the same as "dreaming of owning something"? ... Actually, when you say "dreaming of", I'm more inclined to think a nocturnal dream, instead of wish-type dreams... – Malady Jul 12 '17 at 1:40
5

The common expression is to dream "of" something. So the alternative that you provide sounds much more natural to me:

I have dreamt all my life of owning a beautiful maroon coloured car.

| improve this answer | |
0

I'd say it's correct, because your proposed correction makes it seem like the dreams that are being discussed are the kind you get when you sleep, instead of the use of dream as a synonym for wish, because people dream of things, in their dreams, while people wish to do things.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.