絶える v. 絶滅する

Dante404

Member
Spanish - Spain
絶えると絶滅するはどう違いますか?

Hello,

I know that 「絶える」 and 「絶滅する」 mean "to become extinct/to die out". However, I don't understand the difference between these two. Can anyone explain this to me?

Thank you in advance.
 
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  • SoLaTiDoberman

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    絶える means wider meanings, such as "stop" "die."
    絶滅する is more specific to "extinct."
    And they are chosen according to the collocation and the context.

    恐竜が絶滅した。 :tick:
    恐竜が絶えた。:cross:
    マンモスは絶滅した。:tick:
    マンモスは絶えた。:cross:
    マンモスは死に絶えた。:tick:

    うるし工芸の後継者が絶えた。:tick:
    うるし工芸の後継者が絶滅した。:cross:

    軍事品の供給が絶えた。:tick:
    軍事品の供給が絶滅した。:cross:

    音信が絶えた。:tick:
    音信が絶滅した。:cross:


    For example "go" or "go out" may mean "extinct" in some contexts, but the verb "go" has wider meanings than "extinct," right?
    Likewise, 絶える has wider meanings than "絶滅する."
     
    Last edited:

    Dante404

    Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Thank you very much for your reply. Now I'm clearer about the difference.

    But, then, what is the difference between 死に絶える and 絶滅する? Or do they have the same meaning?
     

    SoLaTiDoberman

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    They are more or less the same.
    However, there are some differences:
    1. 死に絶える is a more colloquial expression than 絶滅する.
    絶滅する is a more formal and academic word.

    2. 絶滅する is usually used for a species.  In a figurative talk, it can be used for more widely.
    死に絶える is used for a family, a race or a species.
     For example,
    明智小吾郎には孫がおらず、名探偵の血筋は死に絶えた。:tick:  All his "family" members were dead.
    明智小吾郎には孫がおらず、名探偵の血筋は絶滅した。:cross:
    マンモスは氷河期の寒さで絶滅した。:tick:
    マンモスは氷河期の寒さが堪えて死に絶えた。:tick:

    三葉虫 (the trilobites) は絶滅した。:tick:
    三葉虫は死に絶えた。:confused: You may use this expression in a poem or lyrics, but 三葉虫 and 絶滅した has a better collocation because you may see 三葉虫 in academic articles much more frequently than in romantic poems. ;)



    Hope this helps.
     

    Dante404

    Member
    Spanish - Spain
    They are more or less the same.
    However, there are some differences:
    1. 死に絶える is a more colloquial expression than 絶滅する.
    絶滅する is a more formal and academic word.

    2. 絶滅する is usually used for a species.  In a figurative talk, it can be used for more widely.
    死に絶える is used for a family, a race or a species.
     For example,
    明智小吾郎には孫がおらず、名探偵の血筋は死に絶えた。:tick:  All his "family" members were dead.
    明智小吾郎には孫がおらず、名探偵の血筋は絶滅した。:cross:
    マンモスは氷河期の寒さで絶滅した。:tick:
    マンモスは氷河期の寒さが堪えて死に絶えた。:tick:

    三葉虫 (the trilobites) は絶滅した。:tick:
    三葉虫は死に絶えた。:confused: You may use this expression in a poem or lyrics, but 三葉虫 and 絶滅した has a better collocation because you may see 三葉虫 in academic articles much more frequently than in romantic poems. ;)



    Hope this helps.

    Thanks so much! That was very helpful! Now I understand it :)
     
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