a long time dead

soumet

Member
China Chinese
The following sentence is from a preview in my textbook.

Be happy while you`re living, for you`re a long time dead.

It`s hard to understand the latter part of this sentence. Does

it mean, `..., for you will be dead for a long time.` ?

It is equally strange to say , `..., for you`re dead for a long time`.

What do you think? Thank you.:)
 
  • Simon Hwang

    Member
    Chinese
    So happy to see this sentence in English, for I have probobaly read the Chinese version.

    In my opinion, this sentence empathizes that the time-period we live is much shorter compared with the time-period after we are dead. SO just cherish every moment when you are alive.

    I hope that I have made myself understood.
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    I have heard the sentence in a slightly different form: Be happy while you`re alive, for you'll be a long time dead.

    It is, I believe, a form of understatement: You won't just be "a long time dead," you'll be forever dead!
     

    Schmoopy

    Member
    English -England
    Just a quick note, you should stick to using speech marks for quotes like this "text goes here", instead of `, as it's not a symbol commonly used in the English language, you probably meant the apostrophe ' instead.

    So...

    Be happy while you`re living, for you`re a long time dead.

    Translates to:

    Be happy while you're living, for you're a long time dead.
     

    soumet

    Member
    China Chinese
    Just a quick note, you should stick to using speech marks for quotes like this "text goes here", instead of `, as it's not a symbol commonly used in the English language, you probably meant the apostrophe ' instead.

    So...

    Be happy while you`re living, for you`re a long time dead.

    Translates to:

    Be happy while you're living, for you're a long time dead.

    Thank you for pointing out my spelling mistake. It's just a matter of
    convenience. It's a bad typing habit. Sorry for my laziness.
     

    Schmoopy

    Member
    English -England
    Ah, well it's just a good habit to get into hehe :)

    But it is quite important at the same time, ` doesn't really mean anything and I don't think I've seen it used in a sentence before, but I understand since you may have a different keyboard it's more convenient to press the tilda key. I just wanted to make sure you knew the difference between them.
     

    soumet

    Member
    China Chinese
    I have heard the sentence in a slightly different form: Be happy while you`re alive, for you'll be a long time dead.

    It is, I believe, a form of understatement: You won't just be "a long time dead," you'll be forever dead!

    I was asked why it is the present tense in the latter part of the
    sentence. I think it will be more grammatically correct to use the
    future tense, using " will" construction. Thank you for the explanation.
     

    soumet

    Member
    China Chinese
    Ah, well it's just a good habit to get into hehe :)

    But it is quite important at the same time, ` doesn't really mean anything and I don't think I've seen it used in a sentence before, but I understand since you may have a different keyboard it's more convenient to press the tilda key. I just wanted to make sure you knew the difference between them.
    Thank you. I get it.;)
     

    soumet

    Member
    China Chinese
    So happy to see this sentence in English, for I have probobaly read the Chinese version.

    In my opinion, this sentence empathizes that the time-period we live is much shorter compared with the time-period after we are dead. SO just cherish every moment when you are alive.

    I hope that I have made myself understood.

    That's my best guess as well. But what bothers me is the
    tense used in the latter part of this sentence. Thank you for
    your reply.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    That's my best guess as well. But what bothers me is the
    tense used in the latter part of this sentence. Thank you for
    your reply.


    Your sentence was: "Be happy while you're living, for you're a long time dead."

    This is, I think, an example of the notional future. "Our plane leaves tomorrow" is an example of the notional future, since it is a sentence using the present tense in reference to a future event. In your sentence, the clause "for you're a long time dead" uses the present tense to refer to a future state.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top