die of / die from

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sunyaer

Senior Member
Chinese
"Die of" and "die from" are very confusing. There is a thread about "die of" and "die from" in this forum that has been closed at here.

In that thread, Parla indicates in post #6:
- He died of infection.:tick:
- He died of an infection.:tick:
- He died from infection.
- He died from an infection

Parla didn't put an OK check after "he died from infection" and "he died from an infection", which I also feel are correct. To me, the difference between "die of" and "die from" is that "die from" implies a starting point of the cause of the death, while "die of" indicates the direct cause. But what is the direct cause of death? For most of us who are not doctors, we don't have the knowledge to distinguish the directness and indirectness of a cause, especially when it comes to something like an infection. So I think that "he died from infection" and "he died from an infection" are also natural in a context that the speaker implies that the infection caused other problems which have resulted in the death. In this case, it seems the speaker knows a little bit more than usual people about infection. For me, if I said "he died of (an) infection", I implied "there is no further detail about the death on how the person died after receiving the infection. Infection is the cause of the death".

It would be very helpful if native speakers could input further comments on the analysis above. My point is that both are acceptable, but there is something that the speaker implies differently.

 
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  • Sun, you are mixing two questions. "From" vs. "of" {already answered} and the article issue.

    "Infection," no article, is more indefinite; could be a series of infections. Also the scope may be broader. "In the US civil war, with no antibiotics, thousands died of infection."

    See my post #9 in the 'war' thread. http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2995563


    So, do you agree that the following two sentences are correct?
    - He died from infection.:tick:
    - He died from an infection.:tick:
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    He said that, in the context, they were interchangeable, yes, I agree.
    Which context is referred to? The "infection" context in the OP?
    It seems wandle in post #2 generalizes the meaning of "of" in "die of" as "from", making "die of" an equivalent of "die from" in any contexts.
     
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