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  1. #1
    Marina Gaidar's Avatar
    Marina Gaidar is offline Member
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    Default Want smb dead/alive

    Is it ok to say like that "They want him dead" or "They want him alive"?

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Want smb dead/alive

    Yes - in the appropriate contexts.

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Want smb dead/alive

    If I were writing a novel in which these things were said, my meaning for "They want him dead" means they want someone to kill him. His death is desired, not "him" in a dead state. That is, they don't have a use for his dead body -- just the knowledge that he's dead.

    However, "They want him alive" would mean they want him in person, obviously alive.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Want smb dead/alive

    If someone is wanted "dead or alive" that means they are such a notorious criminal that the use of lethal force in apprehending them is approved.

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