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  • BGull
  • Waygookin

    • 24

    • March 11, 2011, 06:08:06 am
    • anyang, gyeonggi-do
Grammar: 'No longer alive' vs. 'died'
« on: May 03, 2011, 03:49:29 pm »
Are these the same?

1. Wilma Rudolph died in the past.

2. Wilma Rudolph is no longer alive.


I would argue that they are... the only difference is perhaps (1)"in the past" indicates it was an action in the distant past, whereas (2) could be a recent action.

Your thoughts? This is for a midterm test, so I need a clear yes/no with reason.

 :)


  • Yu_Bumsuk
  • The Legend

    • 2341

    • March 03, 2011, 02:10:36 pm
    • Hicksville, ROK
Re: Grammar: 'No longer alive' vs. 'died'
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2011, 03:51:42 pm »
Well the first one is rather tautologous - if she died it would have happened at some point in the past.


  • Jozigirl
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1045

    • May 03, 2011, 07:37:47 am
Re: Grammar: 'No longer alive' vs. 'died'
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2011, 05:24:10 pm »
"Died" is indisputable - i.e. the person can only be dead.
"no longer alive" can be considered a euphemism but can also, in theory, be used to refer to someone in a coma or vegetative state for example.


  • BGull
  • Waygookin

    • 24

    • March 11, 2011, 06:08:06 am
    • anyang, gyeonggi-do
Re: Grammar: 'No longer alive' vs. 'died'
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2011, 09:57:05 pm »
Thanks for your replies.

The question was, write a similar expression to "Wilma Rudolph is no longer alive."

A students response was: "Wilma Rudolph died in the past."

Would you accept this answer?


  • axolotl
  • Explorer

    • 9

    • May 03, 2011, 08:53:00 pm
    • Icheon
Re: Grammar: 'No longer alive' vs. 'died'
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2011, 11:26:19 pm »
I would accept it from any of my students, but the 'in the past' is just redundant since 'died' is already in the past tense.  Correct would be:  'Wilma Randolph died [bought the farm, kicked the bucket, bit the dust, is no longer with us, shuffled off the mortal coil, has died]."
 ;D


  • cragesmure
  • Super Waygook

    • 300

    • October 01, 2010, 06:57:21 am
    • Yeosu
Re: Grammar: 'No longer alive' vs. 'died'
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2011, 11:37:08 pm »
I would accept it from any of my students, but the 'in the past' is just redundant since 'died' is already in the past tense.  Correct would be:  'Wilma Randolph died [bought the farm, kicked the bucket, bit the dust, is no longer with us, shuffled off the mortal coil, has died]."
 ;D
I would argue that a reference to time is necessary when using the simple past tense.
Is "I went to Japan" correct?  Nope.  "I have been to Japan" and "I went to Japan last year" are correct.
I would say that "Wilma Randolph died in the past" is correct, as are "Wilma Rudolph has died", "Wilma Rudolph is dead" or "Wilma Rudolph is no longer alive".   "Wilma Rudolph died" is not correct.  "Wilma Rudolph died in 2002" (or whenever) is also correct.  We need some reference to time when using the simple past tense.


  • Jozigirl
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1045

    • May 03, 2011, 07:37:47 am
Re: Grammar: 'No longer alive' vs. 'died'
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2011, 07:20:22 am »
I would accept it from any of my students, but the 'in the past' is just redundant since 'died' is already in the past tense.  Correct would be:  'Wilma Randolph died [bought the farm, kicked the bucket, bit the dust, is no longer with us, shuffled off the mortal coil, has died]."
 ;D
I would argue that a reference to time is necessary when using the simple past tense.
Is "I went to Japan" correct?  Nope.  "I have been to Japan" and "I went to Japan last year" are correct.
I would say that "Wilma Randolph died in the past" is correct, as are "Wilma Rudolph has died", "Wilma Rudolph is dead" or "Wilma Rudolph is no longer alive".   "Wilma Rudolph died" is not correct.  "Wilma Rudolph died in 2002" (or whenever) is also correct.  We need some reference to time when using the simple past tense.

If a reference to time is correct in this particular sentence then, by that same reasoning, "Wilma Rudolph died tomorrow" would also be correct - it's a syllogism.  "Died" is already the simple past tense so "in the past" is redundant because, either way, Wilma Rudolph is still dead. 

If your KT is wanting to know if both of these are correct answers for a midterm exam question (they're usually looking for only one possible correct answer so that parents can't object), I would only accept "no longer alive".  If, however, they're simply wanting to know if both answers can be understood, then I would accept both since the meaning is clear but I would suggest that they remove "in the past" which is tautology.


Re: Grammar: 'No longer alive' vs. 'died'
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2011, 07:35:34 am »
It depends on the context of the question and the objective of the sentence. Although the two sentences say different things, they can mean the same thing, as well.

1. He died.

This sentence says that someone has died in a particular and specific point in the past. To die is an action, like to jump, and shouldn't be seen as something that is on going. To say "he died in the past" is redundant, and can be viewed as not concise, but the sentence is still grammatically correct. For example, "He lived in the past" is just as grammatically correct as "He jumped in the past". The sentence may sound awkward, but it is still correct.

2. He is no longer alive.

This sentence can be conveyed as similar to the above because of the assumption that "no longer alive" means "dead"; however, what the sentence more specificly conveyes is that this particular point in time, the present, he is no longer alive.

The sentences can be seen as different because they deal with different verbs, alive and dead, which occur at different times. However, the vague and ambiguous nature of the sentences can make one conclude that they are similar. Other than that, they're both grammatically correct.

For example,
1. James woke up.
2. James is no longer asleep.

The sentences have different verbs and mean different things but, when read vaguely, can mean the same thing. By adding more to the sentences (within the brackets), how different they are becomes more apparent. 

1. James woke up [and went about his day].
2. James is no longer asleep [because he is dead].
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 07:41:38 am by Tamothy »