Have I used the word "manifests" in this sentence correctly?

The American Dream manifests the opportunity for success regardless of social class or background; however, Alex Gibney’s Park Avenue argues the dream is no longer true due to America's rich who have corrupt the system for their gain.

  • Nothing wrong with it. – Robusto Jul 23 '15 at 19:04
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    The English is ok. But from a historical viewpoint I would be glad if someone would point me to a serious work of scholarship which demonstrates that social mobility has been greater in America than in any other western industrialised nation, from the late 18th century to the present day. I have never found one. – WS2 Jul 23 '15 at 21:01

Manifests is an action verb and in this sentence tells us what The American Dream does. Your usage is correct; however, is it the word that best describes what you think The American Dream does?

Since your asking about using a term correctly, "America's rich who have corrupt the system for their gain" has an error in it. Corrupt is an adjective. Here in this sentence you want to use have corrupted to make it a verb that describes what America's rich have done for their (personal) gain.


almost... try

"The American Dream manifests itself in the opportunity for success regardless.."

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    Can you explain why? – Jake Regier Jul 23 '15 at 18:55
  • This is just one of the ways to use manifest. It's arguably not as good as what the OP has, since it's longer and involves a double-jointed reflexive construction. – Robusto Jul 23 '15 at 19:02
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    Yes, I prefer the direct object you choose over that in the OP. Although the usage 'manifests the opportunity ...' for 'clearly shows that there is the opportunity ...' is found, I don't like the V-DO pairing. But the bigger problem is that OP doesn't recognise the equivalence of 'the American Dream' and 'the opportunity for success regardless of social class or background'. Your rewrite is just about acceptable, though probably 'manifests itself in' might better be replaced by a colon. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 23 '15 at 22:02

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