I've been watching the latest season of House of Cards and in the latest episode I saw there is a line that I think is supposed to convey an image, but I can't quite understand it. It is about the US president in an election and the family of his opponent. It goes like this:

The Conways are everything everyone wants to be, You are what everyone wants to become.

So, what is the difference between the "be" and "become" here?


"I want to become" implies that I am not yet, but that change is needed, and that I want to put effort to achieve the change.

"I want to be a millionaire" - and I want a pony, and our chances our about the same.

"I want to become a millionaire" - you know you will have to work hard to achieve that, right?

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  • Hmm, I'm not sure I understand. You're saying the difference between the two is that the "become" version implies more intent? – Denis Rosca Mar 26 '16 at 10:39

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