Die off ( a group)

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sunyaer

Senior Member
Chinese
I found the entry of "die off" on the Free Dictionary website at die off

"die off
To become extinct gradually, as of a group of people or animals"

In the meanwhile, I found the following post by Raymott on usingenglish.com website at [Vocabulary] die off and die out

"They mean the same for extinction. However, the plants in your garden can "die off"; one plant can "die off"; even parts of a plant, for example the flowers, can die off. In winter, the leaves of deciduous trees die off.
I'd leave "die out" for species extinction, but that's just a guideline."

It makes sense that "the flowers of a plant died off" and "the leaves of a tree died off", as "the flowers" and "the leaves", which are plural, and are considered as "a group".

But can we say "a plant died off"? Here, "a plant" is singular, and it is contradictory to the definition of "die off" by the dictionary.
 
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