1. I died


  1. I have died

which one should be used the moment after dying in a game?

  • 1
    If you want to emphasize that the "death" was recent, you could say something like "I just died." – Canadian Yankee Oct 21 '18 at 17:09
  • 1
    You could also say, "I am dead." – Ron Maupin Oct 21 '18 at 21:58


In most cases, the choice of a perfect or non-perfect construction is a free one, depending on precisely how the speaker is viewing the events temporally.

"I have died" says that there is a present consequence of the event, whereas "I died" does not: it does not say that there isn't a present consequence, merely that the speaker is choosing to focus on the completed event, rather than on its consequences.

  • what could be the present consequence if I were to say I have died? – user83680 Oct 22 '18 at 5:13
  • First example I can think of is "I have died 5 times in this game, but I will beat it." – trlkly Oct 22 '18 at 5:52
  • is 'I will beat it' a consequence? doesn't consequence mean bad result? – user83680 Oct 22 '18 at 7:20
  • By "consequence", I mean that the speaker is putting some focus on what comes after the action (dying) - i.e. the state of being dead. I am not talking about things that come afterwards. – Colin Fine Oct 22 '18 at 9:32
  • 1
    In the real world, it does imply that, @user82287 (but then, in the real world, nobody is ever in a position to say it). Whether it does or not in the game depends on the rules of that game, I think. – Colin Fine Oct 22 '18 at 15:34

"I died" is common, or even more so, "I'm dead". Related example:

Oh no! I dropped my ice cream!

"I have died" is grammatically correct, and might be more appropriate, but it sounds a bit too formal to use in such a casual context. For whatever reason, the perfect tense adds distance between you and the event, as if you are casually remarking on it rather than experiencing it. Related example:

Oh dear. A tiger has bitten off my leg. What a bother!

Relevant Monty Python (warning: strong language, graphic violence)

  • 2
    Thinking back (a long way back! :) to the school playground, I'm pretty sure in the context of games where players were progressively eliminated / "killed off", the normal "claim" was always You're dead!, and the acknowledgement / status report was always I'm dead. Whoever heard of Bang, bang! You died! – FumbleFingers Oct 21 '18 at 17:32
  • @FumbleFingers: But it's not "bang bang, you've died" either. – Henning Makholm Oct 21 '18 at 21:05
  • Yes @andrew I dropped my phone sounds perfectly normal to me. But I died is intransitive so I thought that might mean at some past time or something. – user83680 Oct 22 '18 at 5:25
  • @user82287 "[Expletive]! I [expletive] died again!" is a pretty common expression in my household :) – Andrew Oct 22 '18 at 5:36

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