I always thought it was correct to say, "The boy who survived" instead of "The boy who lived". Live here does mean "survive", doesn't it?

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    They mean the same thing. Never use a long word when a short one will do. – Mick Nov 30 '16 at 13:36
  • I understand is as "The boy who existed in life" – SovereignSun Nov 30 '16 at 13:39
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    That is its primary meaning, but see "live to tell the tale". – Mick Nov 30 '16 at 13:41
  • @Mick Oh, I know this one. it means "live long enough so you can tell this tale" – SovereignSun Nov 30 '16 at 13:43

The boy who survived.

In this sentence, it is implied that there was a life threatening "event" which the "boy" was able to live through. The reference time is the "event".

The boy who lived.

This sentence may have different meanings depending on context. On its own, it merely means "the boy was alive". The reference time is dependent on additional context. The boy may now be alive or dead. If you were to say

The boy who lived through the plane crash.

it would be equivalent to "survive".

  • As @Mick said ' Never use a long word when a short one will do.', I have always wondered if it a kind of unspoken norm in English as the same exists in Bengali (an Indian language)? – Tyto alba Nov 30 '16 at 21:27

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