Expressions: 'My dream job...', 'is TO BE A writer', 'is writING'

Which of the following would be the correct way to say what your dream job is?

1 - “My dream job is to be a writer”
2 - “My dream job is writing”
3 - “My dream job is writer”

How do I explain it to a friend? I told him that the correct form could be either the first or the second options, but I’m not really certain of that, and I don’t know how to explain why (and how) the other form is wrong. When I tried to explain it he made a point saying that his dream job was not “TO BE” or “BEING” something, but the profession (writer) itself.

Other thing is, how can I explain to someone that sometimes we have to be flexible while composing sentences, and not rely on the structure of a question to elaborate your answer? He only seems to accept that an answer is right when it follows the phrasing of the question. For example:

Q - “What was your dream job?”
His answer: “My dream job was…”

He would never say “My dream was to be a writer”, he thinks that’s a completely wrong answer hehe. What do you think? I’m 16 and I’m not a teacher yet (talking about dream jobs, that was mine heh), I’m just trying to teach him some basics, but these situations frustrate me beyond belief. :?

Do you have any tips on how to deal with stubborn and overly inquisitive students? :wink:


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anyone…? please? :frowning:

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One way of explaining why the third sentence doesn’t work is to explain that the indefinite article is used before occupations/jobs as in: I am a doctor and if that’s what you want to do, you would say: I want to be/become a doctor or my ambition is to be/become a doctor. If that was something you really thought was the best job in the world, you would say: My dream(job) is to be/become a doctor. I wouldn’t be so happy with

because that wouldn’t really be called a ‘job’ as it’s not specific enough. You could say: My dream job is to spend my time writing.


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Many, many thanks.

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In case you are still reading this post.
Many ESL classes ask students to speak or write about their dream jobs. The problem with the phrase “My dream job is to be…” is that even though job is the subject it must be followed by an infinitive verb, not the progressive (or continuous) or other form of the verb, because the activity of the job must refer back to the speaker/writer and not the job. Also, the job is not “to be” or “to become” but something one does, (in this case) “to write.” So you have to use the infinitive. “My dream job is to write.” In other words, the person wants to write for a living. So, all three of your examples would be incorrect.


I think the entire concept of ‘a dream job’ is utterly useless.

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That’s because the idea of a dream job is antithetical to the reality of work. That assignment is mostly self-serving the teachers, who are selling the specious notion that learning English is somehow important to people’s futures.