die / died / dead

Die is the verb in the present, and died is the verb in the past:

  • He’s very sick; the doctors say he’s going to die.
  • The nurse comforted the dying soldier.
  • One of the country’s most famous authors died last week.

    Dead is the adjective, so we often use it with the verb “to be,” or before a noun:

  • He died in 1972. He has been dead for over 30 years.
  • The victim was dead by the time the ambulance arrived.
  • I found a dead rat under my bed.
  • Police discovered a dead body in the basement of the old building.

    Informally, we can also use die/dead when an electronic device stops functioning, or when a phone or internet connection gets disconnected:

  • I need to recharge my cell phone. The battery’s dead.
  • My laptop died and the computer repairman said he can’t fix it.
  • Before I could ask my question, the line went dead.

    (the telephone connection got cut off)