I am writing an essay, but I am having a hard time using the word, fantasy, right.

"I had fantasy about living abroad, but when I arrived there, my fantasy was "

I want to continue with that sentence, I want to use that word, fantasy, since it's a keyword in my essay.

Can I say

  1. my fantasy was broken
  2. my fantasy broke
  3. my fantasy was shattered

What sound most natural to you, native English speakers?

  • Though this one doesn't use the fantasy word, apparently there's also an idiom of burst bubble
    – Konayuki
    Feb 14, 2016 at 12:14
  • 3
    There's another common phrase negating illusions of fantasy. "I had fantasies about living abroad: but when I arrived, reality set in."
    – rojo
    Feb 14, 2016 at 12:35
  • "… my fantasy was dispelled" seems like a good choice to me. Feb 14, 2016 at 23:02

3 Answers 3


First of all, you should say "I had a fantasy about living abroad" or "I had fantas(ies) about living abroad"

I would say that "my fantasy was shattered" would be the most correct and common usage of the phrase.

My fantasy was broken sounds odd, and my fantasy broke is simply incorrect. "My fantasy was shattered" is the correct one.

Please note, if you decided to use the plural "I had fantasies about living abroad" to also change it to "My fantasies were shattered."

I hope this helps!

  • This is good, but I would personally avoid using "fantasy" (or fantasies) twice in the same sentence. @rojo's proposal is perhaps the best way to go, at least in my opinion.
    – AleksandrH
    Feb 14, 2016 at 18:42
  • I would use the verb form in the first clause: "I fantasized about living abroad, ..." Feb 14, 2016 at 23:51

I would not use fantasy in any of the ways you suggest; while they're understandable I don't think they'd be used that way by a native speaker in my locale (the UK). I would say:

"I had fantasies about living abroad but when I arrived there my illusions were shattered."

The phrases "then reality set in", "my bubble was burst", or "I was in for a rude awakening" could also be used.


Judging from the context of your question... In Spanish, "Desilusionar" is not cognate in English. Disappointed is a better choice. Also, native speakers would use "dream" rather than fantasy.


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