dig his grave

jakartaman

Senior Member
Korean
If I say, "He dug his grave," I guess it could mean either "He dug his own grave to be buried," or "He dug his (another guy's) grave to bury him," depending on the situation. Am I correct?

What if I someone dug for treasure, bones, or anything in someone else's (who is dead) grave? Should I say, "He dug into his grave?"

I hope that I made myself clear. Many thanks in advance.
 
  • Askalon

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    Yes, both of those interpretations are correct. If he's digging his own grave however, I'd usually include the word "own."

    I think "into" works in that sentence. I can't think of a better preposition to use. You can also say "dug up" in reference to finding something while digging, e.g. "He dug up some bones."
     
    Last edited:

    jakartaman

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Well, I should have said, "He dug his own grave." meaning getting himself into trouble.
    Anyway, in the case of the second one, "dig into his grave" is good. So do you say, "Grave thieves (I don't know how to say this...maybe tomb raiders?) dug into the pyramid and ran away with treasure."?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    What if I someone dug for treasure, bones, or anything in someone else's (who is dead) grave? Should I say, "He dug into his grave?"
    "Into" seems fine to me, but the "his" in "his grave" doesn't work well unless you have made it clear in a previous sentence who the "his" refers to. You could also say "he dug up the grave".
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    "dig into" looks odd to me. I would describe grave robbers as "digging up" a grave.

    If a casket is unearthed, to confirm that the proper person was buried in it or to examine the remains for evidence of a previously unsuspected crime, we would use the verb "reopen": "Authorities have reopened several graves at Arlington National Cemetary, trying to resolve discrepancies in burial records." (Not a quotation, but a real-life example.)

    "unearth" is another verb to use in reference to removing soil from a grave. It is not the grave that is unearthed, however, but something that is in it, and it might be used with "dig up": "In digging up old Mr. Smith's grave, they unearthed the skeletons of three children."
     
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