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Can you please explain what it means: "Be driven and you might not get run over." It does not make any sense for me. It is like post for motivating. For dreamer. Thanks

  • That's a passive; run is a past participle as well as an infinitive. Change the verb to see: Be driven and you might not get injured. The construction is called the "Get-Passive" and it works like the Passive but uses get as the auxiliary instead of be. – John Lawler Jun 5 '19 at 14:13
  • John Lawler, well the whole phrase means: follow your dream and nobody hurts you? Or what, may be there is a pun I can't get – Plastic Jun 5 '19 at 15:06
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    From a driver's viewpoint, there are 2 types of traffic: other cars, and pedestrians. Pedestrians can get run over. Also..."pedestrian" can mean ordinary... – Cascabel Jun 5 '19 at 15:48
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    'Be driven' is a punning usage; be driven is synonymous with be highly motivated, but the obvious allusion is to the sense let someone drive you rather than walk, cycle ...'. Obviously, this would lessen the opportunity of you being run over. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 5 '19 at 15:50
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    Everyone thanks a lot, it's clearly for me now – Plastic Jun 5 '19 at 16:48
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The idea of this phrase is that if you are 'driven', that is, you have a goal or dream and are actively working to achieve it, you will be less likely to 'get run over' (that is, beaten or out-competed) by, for example, others who are also 'driven'. Let's start by thinking about it literally: if you're a pedestrian who is trying to walk along a street where cars are traveling at high speeds, it is very likely that you will 'get run over'; that is, a car will hit you. You will also be able to travel much less distance in the same amount of time as a car. But if you are instead driving a car on that same street, you can travel at the same high speeds that the other cars are traveling, and therefore you are less likely to 'get run over'.

Now if we think about it figuratively, the pedestrian is someone who is not 'driven' (motivated/pursuing goals), and is instead passive and not going anywhere relative to other people around him who are 'driven'. Because the pedestrian is not moving where everyone else is moving, he is more likely to 'get run over' because he gets in the way of everyone else. The claim of the phrase is that if you are motivated and pursuing your goals, you will have some 'direction' and 'momentum' that makes it less likely that other people who are also pursuing their goals will intentionally or unintentionally damage you in the pursuit of their goals. The pun is trying to make a connection between both the literal and figurative meanings of 'drive' and 'run over' to make a point about competition between people.

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  • Thanks your explanation is perfect – Plastic Jun 5 '19 at 18:03
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"Be driven and you might not get run over." [Make + not get + verb]

John Lawler said in a comment:

That's a passive; run is a past participle as well as an infinitive. Change the verb to see: Be driven and you might not get injured. The construction is called the "Get-Passive" and it works like the Passive but uses get as the auxiliary instead of be.

Edwin Ashworth said...

'Be driven' is a punning usage; be driven is synonymous with be highly motivated, but the obvious allusion is to the sense let someone drive you rather than walk, cycle ...'. Obviously, this would lessen the opportunity of you being run over.

Cascabel said...

From a driver's viewpoint, there are 2 types of traffic: other cars, and pedestrians. Pedestrians can get run over. Also..."pedestrian" can mean ordinary...

Paraphrasing: You can choose to be highly-motivated and in control, or settle for the constant struggle of the common people in the street.

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