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On Sun, Jul 13, 2008 at 3:20 AM, <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>
> >  Ex-parrot. I
> > can imagine you might want to know, "how would you
> > distinguish between 'he was dead yesterday' and 'he died
> > yesterday'." I would say, "yesterday he already dead" if
> necessary.
>
> What about "yesterday he was already dying"?  Meaning that he
> didn't die yesterday, but the transitional process started
> yesterday.
>

That actually illustrates how problematic tense can be. In English "to be
dying" means that you aren't dead yet, but will soon be dead. But when we
say "he is jumping" it doesn't mean he's getting ready to jump. Or perhaps
as a better analogy, "find" is also a process with completion, like "die".
But we don't say "he is finding it" to mean that he has begun the process of
looking. In Japanese, incidentally, "die" is "shinu," but the meaning of
"shinde imasu", or "is dying," is actually "to be dead". In Japanese you
would need to say something like "shinisou," which means "he seems likely to
die". So I would suggest using a term like "soon die" to mean what you
intend to mean by "dying".

-- 
Jens Wilkinson
Neo Patwa (patwa.pbwiki.com)