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  1. #1
    bieasy is offline Senior Member
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    Cool die = dice?

    Hi,

    Why do you say 'the die is cast' and not 'the dice is cast'?

  2. #2
    bieasy is offline Senior Member
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    Cool Re: die = dice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    Die is the singular of dice. This is an old Roman saying meaning that the course has been chosen and cannot be changed.
    I always thought that dice was singular and dices was its plural. thks.

  3. #3
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: die = dice?

    Quote Originally Posted by bieasy View Post
    I always thought that dice was singular and dices was its plural. thks.
    The words dices and dies are also registered in dictionaries, see for instance:
    dice: Definition from Answers.com
    Die - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    It seems that dice is also used to mean just one die, take a look at this old thread:
    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/t...ice-ideas.html

  4. #4
    euncu's Avatar
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    Re: die = dice?

    Why isn't it "The die has been cast" ?

  5. #5
    euncu's Avatar
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    Re: die = dice?

    Thank you Gillnetter for your elaborate reply.
    If I get what you said correctly, the phrase once was translated word-to-word and it has been being used this way. But my question stands, if it wasn't Caesar, let's say, if it was you who first said it, both as a native-speaker and as an English teacher, how would you say it?

  6. #6
    euncu's Avatar
    euncu is offline Senior Member
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    Re: die = dice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    I most probably wouldn't say anything like this, but if I had to, "The die is cast."
    Ok, then, it's time for me to review my grammar knowledge over again. Yes, I grant that a die is cast, or is tossed in the air, or is kept in a pocket, or anything can be done to a die is done. But I can't understand the underlying grammatical or semantical reason to say it the way you said instead of "the die has been cast".
    If it was something like that;
    The die is cast and a soul is doomed.(Let's embellish it; one, you die, six you live. ) It would be ok to my ears (my non-native ears of course)

    But in such a case below, I'd expect "has been";
    The die has been cast, and there is nothing we can do. (We are so helpless!)

    If, by any means, you feel that I've been bothering you with the same question over and over again, feel free to omit this one last question of me. I've just felt a bit confused about your simple present choice over present perfect.

  7. #7
    euncu's Avatar
    euncu is offline Senior Member
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    Re: die = dice?

    Ok, so far, no die has been cast, but instead "No Dice!" has been cast.

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    Re: die = dice?

    Sometimes we use the simple present instead of the present perfect as a way of lending an air of gravity and permanence to an act. Where we might say, "it has been done," we could instead choose to say, "it is done," with a very subtle undertone that what was done was something grave and significant, that cannot be undone. Christians celebrate the idea of Jesus' return from the dead with the phrase, "he is risen!" not "he has risen," for example.

  9. #9
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    about "He is risen"

    Quote Originally Posted by Heterological View Post
    Sometimes we use the simple present instead of the present perfect as a way of lending an air of gravity and permanence to an act. Where we might say, "it has been done," we could instead choose to say, "it is done," with a very subtle undertone that what was done was something grave and significant, that cannot be undone. Christians celebrate the idea of Jesus' return from the dead with the phrase, "he is risen!" not "he has risen," for example.
    I used to think along similar lines to yours. In fact to some extent I still do.
    However, I think there may be some reminiscences here of present perfect formations with "be" instead of the common "have".
    See the last posts of this recent thread: https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...814-has-2.html

    But I am talking just about the nomenclature of course.
    The technical name you choose to call for the formation "He is risen" does not change its meaning.

  10. #10
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    Re: die = dice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    Die is the singular of dice. This is an old Roman saying meaning that the course has been chosen and cannot be changed.
    Alea jacta est.

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