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  1. #1
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    Usage of living and live as adjectives

    Do you think that 'living animals" and "live animals" are interchangeable for the same meaning? Thank you so much as usual and have a good day.

  2. #2
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    Re: Usage of living and live as adjectives

    As always, a full sentence would tell us what is the most natural. I would say in most cases, "live animals" is probably the one you want, but ... let's see the sentence.
    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.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Usage of living and live as adjectives

    Not really, but it does depend on the meaning you want. For instance, if you're talking about transporting animals, you'd use live to contrast with dead- the two states in which you can transport animals. Like Barb_D, I think live is what I'd use in most cases, but context affects everything.

  4. #4
    sky3120's Avatar
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    Re: Usage of living and live as adjectives

    live

    1living

    [only before noun] not dead or artificial [= living; ≠ dead]:experiments on live animals
    Protesters want to stop the export of live sheep and cattle.
    the number of live births per 1,000 population
    We were so excited to see real live elephants.


    According to Longman dictionary, I think that "live" is interchangeable with "living" for the same meaning. What do you native English speakers think? Thank you so much again and have a good day.

  5. #5
    iannou is offline Key Member
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    Re: Usage of living and live as adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by sky3120 View Post
    live

    1living

    [only before noun] not dead or artificial [= living; ≠ dead]:experiments on live animals
    Protesters want to stop the export of live sheep and cattle.
    the number of live births per 1,000 population
    We were so excited to see real live elephants.


    According to Longman dictionary, I think that "live" is interchangeable with "living" for the same meaning. What do you native English speakers think? Thank you so much again and have a good day.
    Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

    Do they have the same meaning? Yes, it's pretty hard to dispute that. Can they be used interchangeably in all cases? I think not. However, in the cases where they aren't interchangeable, it more a question of accepted usage than right or wrong.

    Some expressions are fixed by the professionals who deal in them. I think the examples containing "live births" and "live sheep" are examples of this, and to swap in the synonym creates some dissonance. A rail car with a sign marked "Living Sheep" would be grammatically okay, but a little creepy.

    Similarly, a film entitled "Night of the Live Dead" would have difficulty drawing crowds at a horror film festival.

    I think we can substitute one for the other in the third example without any problem.

    One native (Canadian) English speaker's opinion.

  6. #6
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    Re: Usage of living and live as adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by iannou View Post
    Do they have the same meaning? Yes, it's pretty hard to dispute that. Can they be used interchangeably in all cases? I think not. However, in the cases where they aren't interchangeable, it more a question of accepted usage than right or wrong.

    One native (Canadian) English speaker's opinion.
    One native (British) English speaker thinks that sums it up it pretty well.

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