I know that dream can be used as a noun and as a verb. And I know that a nightmare is a bad dream. My question is: If I wanted to use dream as a verb and wanted to use nightmare as its object, would it be correct to say "I dreamt a nightmare last night" or "I dreamt about a nightmare last night"? or the only way is to say "I had a nightmare last night" without using dream?

1 Answer 1


The natural and usual expression is "I had a nightmare". There's no grammar error in "I dreamt a nightmare", nor is there an error in "I dreamt a dream", but neither is idiomatic.

Similar "I dreamt about a nightmare" is not natural. It means that the "topic" of your dream was a nightmare, it doesn't mean your dream was a scarey. Dreams can be odd, but I don't think I've had a dream in which I was concerned about having a nightmare.

So the only idiomatic expressions are "I had a nightmare" or "I dreamt about a monster".

  • Thanks a million.
    – Mohd Sala
    Mar 30, 2022 at 18:02
  • What if I want to say it in a way to show it's my routine? Which one is correct: "I often have nightmares." or "I often dream nightmares."?
    – Mohd Sala
    Mar 30, 2022 at 18:05
  • 1
    I often have nightmares.
    – James K
    Mar 30, 2022 at 18:05

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