give birth to live young

  • hjr.lm7mudia.hntati

    Senior Member
    english-USA
    An adjective is a word that comes after a noun to further describe it.

    In this case the "young" are the noun and they are being described as "live." This means the word live is an adjective.

    When a mammal gives birth, the babies come out of the mother alive and breathing instead of her laying eggs.

    live= having life, living and not dead
    young= the babies

    If a bird were to lay eggs, the mother is not "giving birth to live young" since they are in eggs and have not emerged yet.
     
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    happmaoo

    Member
    Chinese - China
    An adjective is a word that comes after a noun to further describe it.

    In this case the young are the noun and they are being described as "live."

    When a mammal gives birth, the babies come out of the mother alive and breathing instead of her laying eggs.
    I was confused with live young ,why we not say give birth to baby or give birth young.Without a a doubt,a young is alive.
     

    hjr.lm7mudia.hntati

    Senior Member
    english-USA
    You are right, of course an animal gives birth to a living baby and of course when it is born it is "young" (it can't be old when it's born can it? :D)

    The phrase "live young" is used when describing mammals.
    It is for the purpose of clarity and emphasis.
    The reason the word "live" is added is because if it were just "give birth to young," one would probably think
    that every animal can be described with this phrase since every animal gives birth.

    Adding "live" makes the phrase more specific and clear.
    It excludes birds, amphibians, and reptiles that lay eggs since the eggs are young but not live.The babies or young, come out in eggs as opposed to the "live young" that come out live(moving and breathing.)


    Birth to live young is a phrase that means the opposite of hatched from an egg.


    As for the word young(which is a noun in this case), it is just a term (used exclusively for animals) that means offspring or baby. It is not describing the babies, the word itself means babies.

    I really have no idea why it is used since the babies obviously come out young and most definitely not old.
    It is a really old phrase.
    All I can say is that in this specific phrase, young just means the babies the mother gave birth to.

    I hope that helped clarify this phrase, it is rather confusing when you think about it.
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Sharks have a variety of reproductive strategies, although they can be divided into two main groups - those that lay eggs, and those that give birth to live young.
    Do Sharks Lay Eggs?

    "Young" in this sense is most often used with a plural verb, when it refers to an unknown number of baby animals. The mother cat keeps watch while her young explore their surroundings.
     
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    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I usually hear this in reference to fish. Most fish lay eggs (roe). But a few species give birth to live (itty bitty tiny fish) young.

    Live-bearing aquarium fish - Wikipedia

    Live-bearing aquarium fish, often simply called livebearers, are fish that retain the eggs inside the body and give birth to live, free-swimming young. Among aquarium fish, livebearers are nearly all members of the Poeciliidae family and include guppies, mollies, platies and swordtails.
     
    Here is another reference using 'live':
    Monotreme
    Monotremes[1]
    T
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    A short-beaked echidna, a platypus, a Steropodon reconstruction and a western long-beaked echidna

    Monotremes are basal mammals that lay eggs (Prototheria) instead of giving birth to live young like marsupials (Metatheria) and placental mammals (Eutheria). The only surviving examples of monotremes are all indigenous to Australia and New Guinea, although there is evidence that they were once more widespread. The existing monotreme species are the platypus and four species of echidnas.
     
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