[QUOTE=polly_t]Hi, I'm translating a piece of writing from Chinese to English, but having problem with one idiom....
This is a threatening phrase, asking someone to repay debt, implying something bad will happen if he doesn't pay. This is often seen in walls, or doors or windows, warning the debtor to pay debt asap.
The best I can do is - pay debt, or die. I at least hope this is grammatically correct!
Hope someone can kindly help me with this! Many thanks in advance!
pay debt, or die - it almost sounds like something a mafia member would say. If so, you can say "pay your debt or die".
Other ways of saying the same thing are:
Pay up or you're dead.
Pay up or your name is mud.
Pay up or else.
For example, a murderer often runs for life because the police are not going to leave him alone.
If the murderer is considered a fugitive, then he is on the run. He is running away from the law and police.
If he is running really fast to avoid being caught, then we would say he running for his life.