Laugh and sigh,a kiss and farewell - that's all our life

Blackmirtl

Senior Member
russian
I need to choose what sounds better, and correctly:

- Laugh and sigh,a kiss and farewell - that's all our life
- Laughing and sighing, kissing and saying goodbye - that's all our life

How should I say it?
 
  • dmz11

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Hello Blackmirtl,

    I need to choose what sounds better, and correctly:

    - Laugh and sigh,a kiss and farewell - that's all our life
    - Laughing and sighing, kissing and saying goodbye - that's all our life
    Is this supposed to stand alone as an isolated sentence, or is there a larger context?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    When you give us choices like that, we like to know your opinion first. It gives us a starting point for the discussion. Which do you like best?

    Is this something you wrote? If it isn't, please tell us where you saw it.
    What is it for? Is it part of a poem? Or something else?
    Information like that may influence our preference.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Welcome to the Dying Fall. This is a poetic technique that means ending a line or part-line with an unstressed syllable. (Compare Shakespeare's "To be or not to be, that is the question" or Pushkin's "Ya vas lyubil, lyubov yeshcho byt-mozhet" where the last word has two syllables, but only the first one stressed.) This gives a wistful feeling to the line, and I suggest that may be what you want in your example? If so, use the -ing version.

    If not, give us more context.
     

    Blackmirtl

    Senior Member
    russian
    There's no context, it's just a phrase. A girl wants to make a tattoo. This is just a phrase translated from Russian.
    Is it possible to say this way?

    - Laugh and sigh,a kiss and farewell - that's all our life

    Is this sentence correct?
     

    dmz11

    Senior Member
    English - US
    There's no context, it's just a phrase. A girl wants to make a tattoo. This is just a phrase translated from Russian.
    Is it possible to say this way?

    - Laugh and sigh,a kiss and farewell - that's all our life
    What you have there doesn't sound quite right. I think what you're trying to say is this (it's an option, anyway):
    A laugh and a sigh, a kiss and a farewell - that's our whole life
    or
    Laughing and sighing, kissing and saying goodbye - that's our whole life
    Just so you know: "that's all our life" is not really idiomatic.

    In case you're wondering what the difference is: the first one is more ephemeral than the second - it has the character of a moment in time; the second could be interpreted as something more ongoing.
     

    Blackmirtl

    Senior Member
    russian
    dmz11, thank you a lot!!
    what if I end up with this: "that is all there is to life"
    does it sound natural?
     

    Blackmirtl

    Senior Member
    russian
    George French, isn't "are" demanded there? I mean: Laughing and sighing, kissing and saying goodbye - that's all there ARE to life ?
     

    dmz11

    Senior Member
    English - US
    isn't "are" demanded there? I mean: Laughing and sighing, kissing and saying goodbye - that's all there ARE to life ?
    No, because "is" refers to "that" - that is all there is to life ... and yes, you can say that.

    Nice poetry.
     
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