Sunday, July 20, 2008

How to use ‘dead’ and ‘die’

Many students often ask me how to use ‘dead’ and ‘die’. They get confused because they are not familiar with parts of speech. Current teaching of English stresses usage and emphasis is not on grammar as was the case during my time.
The word ‘dead’ belongs to adjectives. It means ‘not alive’. On the other hand, ‘die’ is a verb and it carries the meaning of ‘lose one’s life’.

As an adjective, ‘dead’ is used in front of nouns or after verbs to be. To make clear to readers, look at the following examples:
a) There is a dead dog lying in the middle of the road. (‘dead’ is used in front of the noun ‘dog’)
b) It is dead as it cannot move anymore. (‘dead’ is used after the verb to be ‘is’)

The usage of ‘die’ in sentences are as follows:
a) We will die when we are deprived of air.
b) He died of cancer of the lungs.

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