Obama said, "remake the world as it should be" but it is the same construction as "make the world better?" source


2 Answers 2


A strict reading of your question asks only about grammatical construction. In this narrow case, the answer is yes, they have parallel structures:

[transitive verb in the imperative] [object] [adjectival description of the object's state after verb-ing]
[Remake] [the world] [as it should be]
[Make] [the world] [better]

In the imperative voice, the sentence's subject is often ellipted, as is the case here.

However, the two sentences possess significantly different semantics.

Make the world better.

Making the world better means adding to or altering the world's existing state (you are not literally creating the world) to make a more preferable one. Better means improvement of some kind, but degree of change, method of action, evaluation metric and particular quality of betterment are not specified. Because of this vagueness, even if the speaker has a particular meaning of better in mind, the precise action to take is left to the listener to determine. One person hugs a friend who's feeling sad, another cures a deadly disease, and a third paints a beautiful landscape; all three would say they had made the world better.

Remake the world as it should be.

Remake means dismantle and then create anew; this sentence contains an instruction to unmake the world as it currently stands. This also isn't strictly literal (you would probably not destroy and recreate the physical planet Earth), but it does mean that life as we know it would be ended. The implied degree of change here is massive; if it were only a small change, the existing world would not need to be unmade.

As it should be also need not be an improvement. It means possessing the exact attributes the speaker (and those who agree with him) thinks the world ought to have. This is the case here even though those qualities are not specified, because it's nonsensical to suggest (even rhetorically) that the world be remade into multiple different states simultaneously. If some maniacal super villain so remade the world, perhaps everyone would become slaves, toiling away in underground mines. Indeed, this particular sentence is exactly type of dramatic rhetoric I'd expect to hear in comic book dialogues.

I doubt that Obama is a cartoonish super villain, so the use of remake the world as it should be ought to be viewed as political grandstanding. If you possess the same values as Obama and you grant him rhetorical license and you think the present state of the world requires radical alteration in order to improve, including the elimination of substantial negative aspects, then maybe these two statements approach each other in meaning.


Yes, it is the same. "As it should be" is an Adjective phrase, meaning a phrase that acts as an adjective. It means the same as "Like it should be".


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