Here's the sentence:

Who knows how the prosperity you give becomes the prosperity you get

Is it possible to 'give prosperity'?

  • 2
    Taking after 'The God of the heavens -- He doth give prosperity to us, ... (Nehemiah 2:20 ?)
    – Kris
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 13:46

3 Answers 3


Prosperity is a noun; it is the state of being prosperous.

The synonyms are also nouns: success, profitability, affluence, wealth, opulence, luxury, fortune, ease, plenty, comfort, security, well-being

If one can give ease, fortune, wealth, security or comfort, one should also give prosperity.

In the sense of giving wealth, I have heard it more often used as a verb: he has plans to prosper you... (e.g. Jeremiah 29:11)


In giving money, he indirectly gave prosperity to his beneficiaries.'

I agree it is seldom expressed in that way. It sounds a bit awkward, but the meaning is clear and unambiguous.

'The discovery of oil has given prosperity to Ambrosia'. I realise it is more usual to say 'has brought prosperity', but I see no fundamental reason why one couldn't use 'give'.

  • The sinister down-voter casts his dastardly shadow yet again!
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 16:51
  • Seconded! Always great to have no feedback whatsoever on a downvote, isn't it! (NOT!)
    – shermy
    Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 1:28

I find the idea of giving someone 'a state' to be challenging in the case of prosperity to the point of informal, if not completely incorrect.

Many words which indicate a state or condition in someone else seem to be things that you cause in someone else, through them, as it were, not necessarily things you give to them. There are exceptions of course.

Consider a few example states other than prosperity:

  • nervousness

  • happiness

  • unconsciousness

"I give you nervousness."

Sounds wrong, while "I cause your nervousness" works.

"I give you happiness."

Sounds better, perhaps because it's more readily conceptualised independently of those experiencing the state, and hence seems less dependent on the subject, even though here it is simply the state of the receiver, and dependent on them.

"I give you unconsciousness."

Sounds wrong again, but arguably isn't completely wrong. "I caused your unconsciousness" we want to say (and past tense because... well, you can't chat with someone who's unconscious).

So prosperity, being a state that one has, I think "feels" more correct in the form of 'bringing about' or 'causing'.

the prosperity you give

somehow sounds more awkward than "the prosperity you share" or even "the prosperity that you bring". But if you ask me, the whole sentence sounds awkward and archaic. Although the latter, however, may be the intention.

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