I love you more than life itself.

aleaf

Senior Member
Japanese
If you heard from someone, "I love you more than life itself.", would you understand the "life" as the speaker's own life?
I saw the phrase in a novel and it seems like it's not the author's made-up phrase.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    If you say "I love life", do you mean that you love your own life, or life in general? I don't see any difference, since if you lose your own life you also lose any connection with "life" in the abstract.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    US English
    "I love you more than life itself."

    This is a fairly common phrase in fiction. It means "I love you more than I love living". Yes, it is the speaker's life. It is dramatic, and exaggerated. It could be said as "I would rather die than stop being your husband/wife/lover/partner".
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    It could be said as "I would rather die than stop being your husband/wife/lover/partner".
    Yes indeed. Of course it's completely illogical, since the two options are not mutually exclusive. If I die, I will also (and automatically) stop being your spouse etc.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "I love you more than life itself", taken literally, may mean "I am willing to sacrifice my life for yours, or simply for your well-being".

    Generally, I would take it as meaning that "without you, life is not worth living".
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    I take it as an exaggerated way of saying "I'm madly in love with you" or "My love for you is very strong".
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I think life is a countable noun and the plural is "lives"
    even if it's uncountable noun we can use "the"

    It is in some contexts, but in this context of life itself - it's just the one huge whole thing.

    I don't know what you mean by "we can"? Who do you mean by "we"? Do you mean people like you who are learning the language or those of us that speak it daily and know that WE don't?
     

    Sun-Shine

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Egypt)
    I don't know what you mean by "we can"? Who do you mean by "we"? Do you mean people like you who are learning the language or those of us that speak it daily and know that WE don't?

    I mean using "the" with uncountable nouns.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    My point is you made a statement, you had not asked a question, so I was confused.

    If you are asking "can we?" then the answer is NO, not in this case.

    I cannot say if this is ALWAYS the case, although generally it is. If you offer some other examples I can comment on them.
     

    Sun-Shine

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Egypt)
    If you are asking "can we?" then the answer is NO, not in this case.

    I cannot say if this is ALWAYS the case, although generally it is. If you offer some other examples I can comment on them.

    so, we can't use "the" in this case but in general we can use "the" with uncountable nouns.

    The water from the mountain spring was cold and delicious.
    I put the salt in the salt shaker.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    You can use "the" in those cases because they refer to specific examples of water and salt.

    The water. Which water? The water from the mountain spring.
    The salt. Which salt? The salt I had with me.

    In the sentence you asked about, the speaker was referring to life in general, and not a specific life.
     
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