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To be dead/to die/death and LIFE
I'm going to try to deal ‘merrily’ with a difficult topic, quite a sad one, most often, but which, grammatically speaking is a huge problem to almost every French student till the end of High School … and very often later : ‘the expression of Death’.
For French-speaking Students (and certainly for Speakers of other languages ...) the problem is acute because, out of a very unhappy coincidence, we have the same expression to express two different notions !
1) ‘TO BE DEAD ‘ and ‘to DIE’ :
To be dead = 'dead' is an adjective = It represents ‘the state of ’being dead’, of being ‘lifeless’.
To die = a regular verb which means ‘lose life’, the action of dying.
The problem is that if you happen to think French (, which you mustn't do! , but it may be similar in other languages ...) it gives the same French expression !
ex : Her parents are dead.
ex : Her parents died a few years ago.
* DEAD = to be lifeless, to be in a STATE of 'non-life' ; mort-lifeless = DEAD
* to DIE = action of going from Life to Death ; mort- he lost life = to DIE
ex : JFK died in 1963 in Dallas.= In 1963, JFK lost his life.
ex : JFK has been dead for 51 years. = duration of the state of 'being lifeless'
2) ‘a casualty’ = expression of one deceased : a dead /man/woman/person.
ex : A dead woman was found in their back yard !
3) When the number of victims is concerned (in a catastrophe, or an accident,) the verb ‘die’ or also ‘to be killed' is/are used.
ex : Three people died in the accident. = Three people were killed in the accident.
ex : Hundreds of people died in the earthquake last year !
4) The noun = DEATH
ex : Death is just a step in Life … I’m not afraid of Death ! Let's take advantage of (profit by) LIFE and CARPE DIEM : SEIZE THE DAY, the Moment, the Passion of the Present moment !
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