What does "come through" mean in the following two sentences from the internet?

  1. Abundance comes through responsibility and accountability.

  2. In the US, legal adulthood comes at 18, but it is my understanding that adulthood comes through responsibility, tears, laughter, and most of all: parenthood.

I have checked this thread. https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/25459/what-general-rules-govern-the-usage-of-by-versus-through

" Through generally indicates transit from one end of something to another (often, but not always, the opposite end). This can involve literal passage through space or time ("We drove through Texas", "I waited through the night"), or figurative movement through a system or process ("Your request is still making its way through the bureaucracy")."

But is "responsibility" a process?

Taking 1 for example, does it mean you become abundant after you become responsible?

2 Answers 2


As a native speaker, the two examples you provide are easily understood. However, I also recognize that there is a lot technically being left unsaid that can confuse non-native and perhaps even young-but-native speakers.

Abundance comes through responsibility and accountability.

can be rephrased

Having an abundance of good fortune comes through being responsible and accountable over time.

In this case, the state of being responsible and accountable can be considered a process because it is a continuous state of being.

There's also another very common format for similar sayings in English that you might see, and it might be a little easier to understand:

Responsibility and accountability breed abundance.

That is, abundance (of good fortune) comes from responsibility and accountability.

The most popular saying in that format is probably:

Familiarity breeds contempt.

  • As you said, responsibility and accountability here is the state of being responsible. Could you explain further the meaning of "Having an abundance of good fortune comes through being responsible and accountable over time." ? Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 21:45
  • I see a difference between being in that state and reaching that state. Does it mean that you have an abundance of good fortune by becoming responsible or by being responsible? Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 21:53
  • @luxury20041985 "Good fortune" can mean many different things, although I used it intentionally because "abundance" isn't specified either. An "abundance of good fortune" would mean an abundance of one or more of food, happiness, luck, wealth, success, etc. If you are responsible and accountable, you will more carefully manage your money, people will tend to appreciate your strength of character, etc., and that will contribute to your own success. If you are familiar with the concept of Karma, there are parallels that can be drawn: doing or being good tends to provide its own rewards. Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 13:10
  • @luxury20041985 I would argue that it means both, but mostly being responsible and accountable. However, once you become responsible and accountable, you should start seeing some good fortune. The saying doesn't mean that an abundance (of something) will instantly occur once you become responsible, because that doesn't really make sense conceptually. Therefore, it's implied that it is the state of being responsible that matters, and that abundance will accrue over time. Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 13:14
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    A detailed and clear explanation. Thanks so much. :) Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 13:16

One definition of "through" is "used as a function word to indicate means, agency, or intermediacy". In both cases here, the phrase "by means of" could take the place of the word "through."

As you say, one meaning of the first example could be that you become abundant by becoming responsible and accountable, (although I wouldn't really call "responsibility" a process).


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