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I had a discussion with a co-worker at work and said something along the lines of:

Doing this can hurt you in the long run, but it's also possible you gain confidence to do greater things through failures, so it's not 100% clear how good or bad an action is in the long run. Predicting what may happen in the short run is a different matter though.

However, I don't think "possible you" is grammatical. Should I have said "possible to" instead?

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    I find nothing ungrammatical with this sentence. It's not phrased entirely naturally, but there's nothing inherently wrong with using possible you, either in general or here. But are you asking if any sentence can ever use possible you, or are you only asking about its in this particular sentence? If you're asking about it here—why do you think it's not grammatical here? – Jason Bassford Feb 28 at 1:15
  • It sounds odd and the tense might be wrong too. – repomonster Feb 28 at 1:24
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I've looked at this sentence multiple times now, and while I agree that it's a little strange, I can find nothing in it that's either syntactically incorrect or problematic when it comes to the tenses used.

I will take the essential part of the sentence that seems to be causing a problem and and look at it separately.

It's possible you gain confidence to do greater things through failures.

Focusing only on the start of this sentence for now, this construction is no different to me than any of the following sentences:

It's possible you gain strength by eating spinach.
It's possible your mistakes will come back to haunt you.
It's possible you gain wisdom through failure.
It's possibly fatty foods don't affect you the same way they do other people.

The only real difference I can see between those sentences and the one in question, is that the one in question has a little bit more added to it and also ends in a slightly odd way. But this oddness comes at the end of the sentence, not at the start.

If I were to rephrase the sentence in question to make it a little more idiomatic, I might put it his way:

It's possible you gain the confidence to do greater things because of your failures.

If any oddness remains, it's simply because of some context that may or may not be needed. Additional context might have the sentence become something a bit more descriptive:

It's possible you gain the confidence to do even greater things because of your failures when first attempting the routine.

However, while this might things more easily understandable, it's not required in order to make the sentence grammatical.

Further, I might rephrase the larger sentence in a similar way:

Doing this can hurt you in the long run, but it's also possible you gain the confidence to do greater things because of your failures; therefore, it's not 100% clear how good or bad this action is for you in the long run.

These are all syntactical changes in different areas—but not changes to the it's also possible you part.

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I don't consider that grammatical, but replacing you with to is only one option. It could also be replaced with you will.

In other contexts, too, "possible you" can be fine.

"It is possible you think you are immune to criticism. If so, you will learn that you are wrong."

Some grammarians will say that should be "possible that you", but there are long-attested forms that go straight from possible to you. In my life, I often hear people quoting Oliver Cromwell (though not many seem to know he's the one they are quoting):

"Think it possible you may be mistaken"

  • Hmm, strange, I actually thought "you" was ok, because it would be like saying "possible that you", but alright, I guess I was wrong. – repomonster Feb 28 at 0:12
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    The reason it's not, there, is that "possible that you" still doesn't work. "It's also possible that you gain confidence to do greater things through failures" has the gain in present simple, which I can't articulate right now why it's wrong because it's half past midnight and I need sleep, but I know it's not right. It might be grammatical, but it's not what a native speaker would say/write. In my suggestions, "possible you will", some will consider that to have an elided that in it, too. – SamBC Feb 28 at 0:26

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