.... that my dream will come true / comes true

Resa Reader

Senior Member
"And as that job interview appears to have been more successful than the one before, there is a good chance that my dream .................. (come) true."

I am currently correcting an exam paper where there was the above sentence under "Structures and Idioms".

My first instinct was to put "will come true" and the "model solution" says so too.

Now we had a number of students who wrote "... that my dream comes true".

The first corrector marked it wrong but I am beginning to have some doubts. For me, the present tense doesn't sound so terribly wrong here, even if the person is talking about the future.

What do you say? Would you accept both solutions?

As this is an important exam, I don't want to mark anything wrong that would be accepted by a native speaker.
 
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Here you do need the future 'will come'.

    This is different from the kind of sentence which says 'I hope my dream comes true'.
    In this case, the verb 'I hope' expresses a future meaning. The clause '[that] my dream comes true' is subordinate to the preceding verb and thus takes its future sense from that.

    In the question sentence, there has been no future meaning expressed by a verb (or anything else) before the final clause.

    Having said that, I would not rule the chance that some native speakers would say 'comes true'.
    My answer is that that is not correct, and that 'anything ... that would be accepted by a native speaker' is too wide a net to use.
     
    Last edited:

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I would certainly say 'will come' myself, as would almost all native speakers, I think, but 'there is a good chance' does introduce a kind of unreal, prospective frame similar to:

    if my dream comes true
    in the event my dream comes true
    I hope that my dream comes true
    on the off chance my dream comes true

    So I wouldn't regard it as absolutely wrong if a native speaker said it.

    (Cross-posted.)
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I'd accept:
    will come
    may come
    might come
    is coming
    may be coming
    might be coming.

    Comes
    sounds downright weird to me, no matter how far I bend over backwards:(

    [Not cross-posted]
     

    Resa Reader

    Senior Member
    I would certainly say 'will come' myself, as would almost all native speakers, I think, but 'there is a good chance' does introduce a kind of unreal, prospective frame similar to:

    if my dream comes true
    in the event my dream comes true
    I hope that my dream comes true
    on the off chance my dream comes true

    So I wouldn't regard it as absolutely wrong if a native speaker said it.

    (Cross-posted.)
    Well, I would have said and written "there is a good chance that my dream will come true", too.

    Now, I'm at a bit of a loss, however, as you said you wouldn't be totally surprised if a native speaker said this. Wandle, on the other hand, ruled the present tense out completely.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    For what it's worth, I agree with ewie. If I were marking a paper I'd have to mark it wrong, albeit reluctantly, since it isn't a hideous mistake.
     
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