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Harry works hard to be a good student.

Harry works hard to become a good student.

Are both sentences acceptable? Do they have the same meaning?

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As for the meanings, they are not the same.

The first sentence implies that Harry is currently a good student, and the purpose of working hard is to maintain that standing. To that end, it may be more clear to write it as:

Harry works hard to maintain his standing as a good student.

The second sentence implies that Harry is currently not a good student and the purpose of working hard is to reach that standing. Your example in that case is acceptable.

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  • Thank you. This helps.
    – Jo Lim
    Sep 13 '21 at 5:33

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