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  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default lethal and deadly

    Dear teachers,

    I have two questions to ask:

    I have consulted my dictionary and found the definitions:

    lethal: able to cause or causing death; extremely dangerous
    deadly: likely to cause death

    Does this mean that 'something lethal' is more dangerous than ' a deadly thing'?
    No.2
    The word 'bound' can mean 'limit'. So the sentence 'His desire for political power apparently knows no bounds' can be rewritten this way ' There is no limit to his desire for political power'. Is that right?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

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    Default Re: lethal and deadly

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post

    lethal: able to cause or causing death; extremely dangerous
    deadly: likely to cause death

    Does this mean that 'something lethal' is more dangerous than 'a deadly thing'?
    Very good question. Lethal is used to describe those things that if applied are CERTAIN to cause death (and yes, as you have indicated "'something lethal' is more dangerous than 'a deadly thing'").
    A lethal injection will cause death when applied.

    When something is deadly, it may cause death; but, there is a slim chance that it may not. The venom of some snakes is deadly--because if the victim is treated, they might survive.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: lethal and deadly

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    No.2
    The word 'bound' can mean 'limit'. So the sentence 'His desire for political power apparently knows no bounds' can be rewritten this way ' There is no limit to his desire for political power'. Is that right?
    Absolutely correct. :)

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: lethal and deadly

    In addition to what DCPaco said, 'deadly' can also be used when something is ruined, but physical death does not result- a mistake can be deadly, which might ruin your career, but without resulting in your death, though there would be no risk of physical death.

    PS, Welcome to the forum DCPaco.

  5. #5
    Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: lethal and deadly

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,
    I have two questions to ask:
    I have consulted my dictionary and found the definitions:
    lethal: able to cause or causing death; extremely dangerous
    deadly: likely to cause death
    Does this mean that 'something lethal' is more dangerous than ' a deadly thing'?
    No.2
    The word 'bound' can mean 'limit'. So the sentence 'His desire for political power apparently knows no bounds' can be rewritten this way ' There is no limit to his desire for political power'. Is that right?
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang
    In addition to what has already been said I would like to add as follows:
    1. Lethal and deadly are a typical example of English (vocabulary) as the language of doubles: lethal is from Latin letum (death) whereas dead is Germanic in origin. As always words of Latin origin are more formal (written register) than those of Germanic origin (spoken register)
    2. deadly can also mean boring like: a deadly conversation. This is figurative in use.
    3. Lethal can collocate as follows:
    A lethal blow/injection/poison/weapon
    Figuratively it can mean sth causing a lot of harm: the bankruptcy of the company dealt a lethal blow to the working population.

    Deadly can collocate as follows:
    Deadly look, deadly earnest/serious, deadly pale,deadly dull
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 19-Nov-2006 at 15:25.

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    Default Re: lethal and deadly

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    In addition to what DCPaco said, 'deadly' can also be used when something is ruined, but physical death does not result- a mistake can be deadly, which might ruin your career, but without resulting in your death, though there would be no risk of physical death.

    PS, Welcome to the forum DCPaco.
    Thank you TDOL :)

  7. #7
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: lethal and deadly


    Dear DCPaco,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by DCPaco View Post
    Very good question. Lethal is used to describe those things that if applied are CERTAIN to cause death (and yes, as you have indicated "'something lethal' is more dangerous than 'a deadly thing'").
    A lethal injection will cause death when applied.

    When something is deadly, it may cause death; but, there is a slim chance that it may not. The venom of some snakes is deadly--because if the victim is treated, they might survive.

  8. #8
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: lethal and deadly


    I see.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by DCPaco View Post
    Absolutely correct. :)

  9. #9
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: lethal and deadly


    Dear Tdol,
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    In addition to what DCPaco said, 'deadly' can also be used when something is ruined, but physical death does not result- a mistake can be deadly, which might ruin your career, but without resulting in your death, though there would be no risk of physical death.

    PS, Welcome to the forum DCPaco.

  10. #10
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: lethal and deadly

    Dear Dr.Jamshid Ibrahim,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim View Post
    In addition to what has already been said I would like to add as follows:
    1. Lethal and deadly are a typical example of English (vocabulary) as the language of doubles: lethal is from Latin letum (death) whereas dead is Germanic in origin. As always words of Latin origin are more formal (written register) than those of Germanic origin (spoken register)
    2. deadly can also mean boring like: a deadly conversation. This is figurative in use.
    3. Lethal can collocate as follows:
    A lethal blow/injection/poison/weapon
    Figuratively it can mean sth causing a lot of harm: the bankruptcy of the company dealt a lethal blow to the working population.

    Deadly can collocate as follows:
    Deadly look, deadly earnest/serious, deadly pale,deadly dull

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