In Russian, we have a popular poetic construction that can be literally translated as to be a person (man) of something. For example, if some person is very active, we can say that he is a man of action. I try to translate this construction in English so that it wouldn't lose its poetic character. I try to be a personification of something, but it sounds odd and pretentious.


Tatiana is a personification of broken dreams.

2 Answers 2


"(a) man of action" is actually an idiom even in English, and based on your translation, sounds like it means the same thing as the Russian equivalent. However, it is not really poetic in English. You could use "(a) man of action" in casual speech and nobody would bat an eye, e.g. "I'm glad John took care of that for us! He's a real man of action."

Other constructions of the form "(a) (wo)man of [something]" sound less natural to me. "Tatiana is a woman of broken dreams" sounds okay to me, but I would prefer to use something else - perhaps "Tatiana is the embodiment of broken dreams". I would also avoid using "Tatiana is a personification of broken dreams" - it sounds off to me, though I can't pinpoint why.


Yes you can.

Both examples are correct and idiomatic English


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