as good as dead

hhtt21

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Jun 12, 2016
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Turkish
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"The man was as good as dead when we found him."

Would you explain how a person can be as good as dead. I think situation is preposterious because a person could be alive or dead not between them.

Thank you.
 

Lynxear

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Dec 20, 2007
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Retired English Teacher
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Canada
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Canada
"As good as dead" is a way of saying that the person is found in a near death condition. It is felt that even if the person recovers from the injuries, he won't have a good quality of life afterward. (Note: "afterward" is AE and Canadian English, whereas "afterwards" is BE".)

This phrase could also be used as a threat.

"You stole money from the mafia! You are as good as dead when they find out you did it."

"You are a dead man" has a similar meaning in the same context.
 
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GoesStation

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Dec 22, 2015
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It's a way to say he was very nearly dead.
 
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