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  1. #1
    inase's Avatar
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    die + happy

    Sentence 1 and sentence 2 are obviously different. "Happily" in sentence 1 is a sentential adverb meaning that it is happy that he died, probably because he was disliked.
    Could someone explain the difference between sentences 2 and 3?
    My guess is that in sentence 2 he looked happy (calmly with peace of mind) when he died while in sentence 3 he was happy (satisfied with nothing more to be desired in his life) when he died.

    1. Happily he died.
    2. He died happily.
    3. He died happy.

    Inase

  2. #2
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    Re: die + happy

    I would not use 2. If I heard it, I'd have to ask what it was supposed to mean.

  3. #3
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    Re: die + happy

    I agree with post #2. If anything, it suggests the manner of his death.

  4. #4
    inase's Avatar
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    Re: die + happy

    Likewise, I assume that these are similar usages to the die (verb) + happy (complement) type.

    He was born rich. (born into a rich family.)
    He was born happy. (born into a happy family?)
    He was born worth billions of dollars. (received a legacy of billions of dollars. cf. He died worth billions of dollars. (left a large sum of money.)

    Inase

  5. #5
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: die + happy

    Quote Originally Posted by inase View Post
    He was born rich. (born into a rich family.)
    He was born happy. (born into a happy family?) He has had a jovial nature since birth.
    He was born worth billions of dollars. (received a legacy of billions of dollars.)
    "Received a legacy" is usually said of someone who benefits from the recent death of a relative. I'd use other words to describe the (literally) fortunate infant's wealth from birth, if I could think of any. The coffee is still kicking in, though, and nothing comes to mind yet this morning.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. #6
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    Re: die + happy

    Quote Originally Posted by inase View Post
    He was born happy. (born into a happy family?)
    I'm not sure what you mean by that. Being born into a happy family doesn't necessarily mean the person will turn out to be a happy person, and vice versa.
    I can accept "he was born happy" to mean he's always been a happy person.

    Quote Originally Posted by inase View Post
    He was born worth billions of dollars. (received a legacy of billions of dollars.
    Again, I'm not sure what you mean. Was it a freak coincidence that he inherited billions just as he was born?

  7. #7
    inase's Avatar
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    Re: die + happy

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by that. Being born into a happy family doesn't necessarily mean the person will turn out to be a happy person, and vice versa.
    I can accept "he was born happy" to mean he's always been a happy person.
    My simple logic was:
    born rich -> born into a rich family
    born happy -> born into a happy family
    However, it seems more natural to consider it to mean "he's always been a happy person."

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Again, I'm not sure what you mean. Was it a freak coincidence that he inherited billions just as he was born?
    Again, my simple analogy is:
    He died worth billions of dollars. (left a legacy of billions of dollars)
    He was born worth billions of dollars. (received a legacy of billions of dollars)

    Or it may mean "he was born with a talent worth billions of dollars as a child of a superstar?"

  8. #8
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    Re: die + happy

    Change your logic.
    He was born happy = He's always been happy.
    He was born rich = He's always been rich (or at least, he was when he was born) BECAUSE he was born into a rich family.
    You can die worth billions because as an adult you have acquired wealth.
    *IF* someone had already created some sort of trust where, for example, all children born to their children (that is, all current and future grandchildren) would be eligible to receive billions of dollars each, you could say he was born "worth billions" but that's pretty rare, I should think.
    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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