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  1. #1
    LordOfTheRings is offline Newbie
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    Cause of the better man lives

    From Google books:

    Please, help me translate:

    "We all shot at him, but Sam stuck to him and it was a case of the better man lives. After a long fight Sam eventually got him clean, and down he went"

    P.S. Sorry, there is an error in thread name: case is correct, not cause.
    Last edited by LordOfTheRings; 25-Dec-2011 at 11:43.

  2. #2
    JohnParis's Avatar
    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Cause of the better man lives

    Translate?
    Perhaps you mean rephrase?
    This is only my interpretation - others will have different ideas.

    We all shot, but Sam stuck to him in a struggle to the end. After a long fight, he eventually got a clean shot, and down he went.

  3. #3
    LordOfTheRings is offline Newbie
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    Re: Cause of the better man lives

    Thank you.
    "To translate", I mean in this case "to understand".

    I don't understand the bold part of the phrase.

    Does it mean "It was that sort of struggle, where the strongest is the winner (that side who remains alive)"?

    Is "lives" there a verb or the plural form of "life"?

    Does ''better'' means (there) ''stronger'', ''more fit to''?

  4. #4
    JohnParis's Avatar
    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Cause of the better man lives

    Quote Originally Posted by LordOfTheRings View Post
    Thank you.
    "To translate", I mean in this case "to understand". I thought so - no problem.

    I don't understand the bold part of the phrase.

    Does it mean "It was that sort of struggle, where the strongest is the winner (that side who remains alive)"? Yes, that is what it means - a fight until the strongest wins (until he kills the other). This is known as a "fight until the end."

    Is "lives" there a verb or the plural form of "life"? The better of the two men lives. Plural of "to live".

    Does ''better'' means (there) ''stronger'', ''more fit to''? Yes - survival of the fittest (or best or strongest).
    However, your sentences: "We all shot at him, but Sam stuck to him and it was a case of the better man lives. After a long fight Sam eventually got him clean, and down he went" are not good English and they sound as if they are from a bad translation. You should - in my opinion - not use them.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Cause of the better man lives

    Quote Originally Posted by LordOfTheRings View Post
    Is "lives" there a verb or the plural form of "life"? It's the third person singular of the verb "to live".

    The better man lives = the man (he) who is better survives.


    I agree with JohnParis though, it sounds like a very strange version. I'm not convinced this is the original from Lord of the Rings.

  6. #6
    JohnParis's Avatar
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    Re: Cause of the better man lives

    Emsr2d2 is correct. "Lives" is the third person singular of the verb "to live".
    I was wrong.
    Perhaps it's time for me to join the family and get a refill .
    John

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Cause of the better man lives

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnParis View Post
    Emsr2d2 is correct. "Lives" is the third person singular of the verb "to live".
    I was wrong.
    Perhaps it's time for me to join the family and get a refill .
    John
    I didn't even notice that you'd said "plural of to live"! Maybe I should join you in that refill!!

  8. #8
    LordOfTheRings is offline Newbie
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    Re: Cause of the better man lives

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnParis View Post
    Emsr2d2 is correct. "Lives" is the third person singular of the verb "to live".
    I was wrong.
    Perhaps it's time for me to join the family and get a refill .
    John
    Thank you gentlemen. Everything is OK.
    John, I've mentioned that strange sentence, but saw it like misprint or slip of mind, and understood you correctly: the verb "to live".
    Thank you. Best wishes.

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