crush or kill dreams

Sun14

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello, my friends,

I was wondering whether the underlined part is idiomatic:

1) Some malicious teacher said sarcastic words to crush the students' dreams.

2) Some malicious teacher said sarcastic words to shatter the students' dreams.

3) Some malicious teacher said sarcastic words to kill the students' dreams.

Thoughts and context: In China, the students are only required to get high scores. Apart from that, every minutes used on other things are considered a waste of time. I witness a teacher criticize a student as he didn't finished the homework on time and used the time to play basketball. The teacher used some sarcastic words trying to let down the student and ask him not to play basketball any more since there is no possibility for him to play basketball for living. However, I found the boy really liked basketball he cried but the teacher didn't stop mocking him. I checked the Oxford Collocation Dictionary finding that dream is always collocated with crush and shatter but my first thought was kill. I need your confirm. Thank you.
 
  • elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I think any of the verbs could work, but the rest of the sentence sounds odd.

    The (malicious) teacher's sarcastic words/remarks crushed/shattered/killed the student's (one student, right?) dreams.

    "Malicious" is a very strong word, suggesting that the teacher was ill-intentioned and did this on purpose. I wonder if a milder word would be better suited to express what you want to say.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    First off, the noun is plural, right? Students' not student's?

    Second, all three are idiomatic. Each one creates a slightly different image. Think about what each verb says to you. I would say that 1, 2, 3, are increasingly uncommon, but only slightly so.

    (Apparently teachers in your part of the world can be very malicious.)
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I think any of the verbs could work, but the rest of the sentence sounds odd.

    The (malicious) teacher's sarcastic words/remarks crushed/shattered/killed the student's (one student, right?) dreams.

    "Malicious" is a very strong word, suggesting that the teacher was ill-intentioned and did this on purpose. I wonder if a milder word would be better suited to express what you want to say.
    How about vicious, malignant and mean.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    First off, the noun is plural, right? Students' not student's?

    Second, all three are idiomatic. Each one creates a slightly different image. Think about what each verb says to you. I would say that 1, 2, 3, are increasingly uncommon, but only slightly so.

    (Apparently teachers in your part of the world can be very malicious.)
    I am the teacher, too. I cannot stand the teacher crushes the students dreams.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    I checked the Oxford Collocation Dictionary finding that dream is always collocated with crush and shatter but my first thought was kill.
    "Dream" does not always collocate with "crush" and "shatter," but I don't think "kill" is very idiomatic, no. I would pick one of the other terms.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    How about vicious, malignant and mean.
    "Vicious" is also very strong. "Malignant" is not a commonly used word. "Mean" is common, and less strong, but it depends on whether that's what your'e trying to say. If you want to explore ways to express this part of the sentence, you should start a new thread.
    I don't think "kill" is very idiomatic
    It may not be an established phrase, but it would be readily understood. I think it could work.
     
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