What does this sentence mean? : "We would do more good doing bad than my mom ever dreamed."

Does it mean that "We would do more good things while do bad things at the same time" ?

I'm waiting for your help. Thanks!

  • Hi 유하영! Welcome to E.L.L.! The sentence is colloquial but ungrammatical. In the UK we don't say 'doing bad'. We say 'doing bad things' or 'doing bad stuff'. [Or 'doing badly', but that means 'declining' or 'deteriorating'.] The sentence is a paradox. It means, 'It would be better than my mom could ever dream if we were to do bad things.' Or 'If we did bad things we would do more good than my mom could ever dream.' 'Dream' here means 'hope' or 'wish (for)'. Apr 20, 2020 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


I think it would be more easily understood if it were rendered:

We would do more good by doing bad than my mom ever dreamed.

The way I understand it is that somehow, by doing bad things, the person would actually be doing good - more so than if they did what is normally considered "good".

Without context, I cannot suppose how doing 'bad' could result in good, but there are the sayings "the wrong thing for the right reasons" and "the end justifies the means". Several philosophers wrote about consequentialism which basically means the outcome of something is sometimes a more important consideration than the actions.

The final comment about "mom" applies to doing good, not bad. Evidently mom dreamed, or hoped, that their child(ren) would do a lot of good. The person hopes to exceed her expectations of good works by their unusual means of doing bad.

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