My boyfriend read the following quote somewhere:

You're never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.

He said "you're never given" sounds really odd to him so he asked me if it's correct. I told him that it is indeed correct, but I'm not sure how to explain why.

The "you're" here is "you are", isn't it? He said it's so weird to see "are" and "given" used together, and that it would be okay if it was "were" instead of "are".

I told him that I think it's because the quote is in a present continuous tense that's why "are" is used.

He also thinks "you'll never be given" sounds better, but I think the first one sounds good enough. The part of the quote which actually kinda looked odd to me is "to make it true" because I think it would be better as "to make it come true".

What do you think? Was my explanation correct? How could I elaborate it? Thank you!

  • 1
    The statement is very much grammatical. It is not aimed at a specific point in time but tries to convey a generally applicable rule about dreams. Like many proverbs there is no need refer to the future. "The early bird catches the worm."
    – Helmar
    Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 8:46
  • That's exactly what I think as well! I just really don't know how to put it into words. Thank you! Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


It's correct. The best explanation is simply that "You're" is a contraction of "You" and "are".

You could explain that it's "You are" instead of "You is" because historically you has always been considered plural and so verb conjugation dictates that we use the form "are" with it versus "is". The suggestion of "were" is just very odd. That would be completely wrong and change the meaning to past tense.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.