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> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jens
Wilkinson

> 	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". 

This really isn't tense, but aspect and to some extent a
semantic difference.  I don't even think "soon die" works right
because there are some forms of death that occur slowly as with
some diseases like cancer.  "Soon" of course is a relative term.
"dying" is the process of transitioning from one state, "life"
into another state, "lifelessness" (=death).   In a similar way,
we could also term "birth" as a transition into a state of
"living".  We often do this in English anyway when we say
something "comes to life".

"Find" has more than one meaning in English so it's not that
clear.  In one sense "find" could be the successful completion
of the action of searching for something: "I found my keys." (I
didn't remember where I put them so I looked around until I
found them) There's also another meaning where someone just
happens upon something by chance when they weren't searching for
anything:  "I found some keys." (I was going about my business
and discovered a set of keys).  Also it's possible to terminate
a search without finding anything, in which case there is
nothing "found" at all, rather someone has just given up the
action of searching.

The more interesting English word is "get" which in common
speech is frequently used instead of "become" though we also use
its past form "got" to replace "have".