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it's in its death throes

Discussion in 'English Only' started by girl from rio de janeiro, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. girl from rio de janeiro Senior Member

    Portuguese (Brazilian)
    The subjunctive mood is in its death throes, and the best thing to do is put it out of its misery as soon as possible.
    What does "is in its death throes" mean? Does it has the same meaning of "to be on its last legs? Thank you!
     
  2. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    București
    Romanian
    Hi,

    It means it's agonising, approaching death. They're probably saying that nobody uses the subjunctive mood these days.

    (And what do you know, the WR English-Portuguese dictionary has the selfsame expression translated there :) CLICK)
     
  3. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    The sense is certainly what Trisia has described, but technically speaking the throes are the pains (of death, usually, but also of childbirth, etc.) and not the actual death. But yeah, the idea is that the subjunctive mood is agonizingly approaching its death, and it gives the image of the personified subjunctive mood going through final death pains.

    A poetic/longwinded way of saying it is dying out, basically.
     

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