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What does "make something the success it is" mean?

As a language learner, I don't know if the phrase is idiomatic and grammatical.

  1. These people have made the industry the success it is today.

  2. You've all made my business the success it is becoming.

  3. You really helped make it the success it proved to be!

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    Why did you type "sth" ? That is a bad "text-message" abbreviation for "something". Are you asking what "sth" means? If not, edit the question and please type "something" properly. – Fattie Mar 25 '19 at 11:19
  • @Fattie I edited the question as you said. But I think using fewer letters is better for searches on the Internet. I see lots of questions have "sth" here (ell.stackexchange.com/search?q=sth ). You can find even some dictionaries (Collins, Longman, etc.) use "sth" in several phrases. And the tag is "phrase-meaning"; how could this be misunderstood? I'm just curious. – Klmo Mar 25 '19 at 12:00
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    It's an English language site. Use correct spelling always. – Fattie Mar 25 '19 at 12:09
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    @Fattie Learners are pretty familiar with the dictionary abbreviations like sth or sb so I don’t know that if we have reached a clear consensus as a community about whether we want to use them or not. It may be worth discussing on English Language Learners Meta. When I first jumped in here, those abbreviations were off-putting to me too, but they do help us talk about constructions a bit more concisely. – ColleenV parted ways Mar 25 '19 at 14:29
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    @Fattie Abbreviations found in dictionaries are neither incorrect spellings nor slang - it's really just a question of how well understood those abbreviations are in a community. We could want to exclude them because they're a bit too specialized and distracting. I think calling them incorrect is a bit strong. – ColleenV parted ways Mar 25 '19 at 20:14
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This expression means that the people (or whatever) in question are in some way responsible for the success of the company (or whatever). Success is used as a noun, and the subject(s) made the object into a success.

Your examples are using it correctly.

This is not make as in construct/create - it is not I make a child a toy, in which a toy is being made for a child. It is more like I make a child a scholar, in that you have caused the child to become a scholar. In that, it is not precisely just the sense of make related to cause. It is more like make into, just the into is (sometimes) missing. It thus has elements of both cause and create meanings.

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  • Thanks. Then I guess part of it uses the same grammatical structure as "make a child a toy." Is that correct? – Klmo Mar 25 '19 at 12:37
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    You can think of it that way, though it may lead to a little confusion - there isn't the suggestion that they literally made the company, as in constructed or created it. You could think of it as made X into the success it is. – SamBC Mar 25 '19 at 12:42
  • Oh, I've grasped the meaning now. Actually, I have seen examples with "into": a. "My failures made me into the success I am today." b. "That retailer figured out how to make it into the success it is today, he said." Your comment reminds me of them. – Klmo Mar 25 '19 at 13:02
  • Essentially, it is the sense of make that is related to cause, with some shades of the sense create/construct, but not at all the sense that is related to force. – SamBC Mar 25 '19 at 13:17

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