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  1. Marina Gaidar's Avatar
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    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
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      • Ukraine
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      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Jun 2012
    • Posts: 274
    #1

    Want smb dead/alive

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

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
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    • Join Date: Oct 2010
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    #2

    Re: Want smb dead/alive

    Yes - in the appropriate contexts.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
    Moderator
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    • Join Date: Mar 2007
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    #3

    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. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
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    • Join Date: Apr 2009
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    #4

    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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