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  1. #1
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    Aug 2005
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    Default Pay debt, or die

    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!



    Oh, editing.....

    I have one more question. Does 'run for life' imply a situation where if one doesn't run, he will die or be in big trouble?

    For example, a murderer often runs for life because the police are not going to leave him alone.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by polly_t; 22-Aug-2005 at 12:23.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pay debt, or die

    [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.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pay debt, or die

    Wow, thank you so much! It's helpful!

  4. #4
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    Dec 2004
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    Default Re: Pay debt, or die

    Quote Originally Posted by polly_t
    Wow, thank you so much! It's helpful!
    You are very welcome.

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