1. Which one is correct or more accurate?
    "A lively child" or a "child who is alive"?

  2. When you want to say a person is not dead and he is normally living in his country, for instance, what do you say?

  3. What is the difference between "live" and "living"?

I know this is a broad question, but they are similar terms and I really am confused between them all.

  • In any case, please read the answers in those two previous questions carefully. My answer is essentially the same thing as what others answered in those questions. Apr 7 '14 at 16:38
  • Also note that all these words "live", "alive", "living", "lively", and other related words such as "life", "liveliness", are closely related. The best way to learn to use them properly is to observe their real use. When reading, it's possible to be confused because the same spelling, for example, "living" can be entirely two different things, as a verb in the present participle form, or as an adjective. In my opinion, the best way to deal with this problem is: knowing how to parse sentences properly. Apr 7 '14 at 16:53
  • The confusion has increased as the question is now edited. Nima, if you just want to know about a lively child and living child or child who's alive -don't get confused. It's straight and clear. alive = someone who is not dead; lively = energetic, zealous; live = live telecast, something happening right in front of you
    – Maulik V
    Apr 7 '14 at 17:19
  • @MaulikV The edit didn't change the content of the question. It's the same question, I just put it in a list and tidied up the grammar. If you think I've misrepresented the original content in my edit, please be more specific so that people can judge for themselves and it can be re-edited if need be. Apr 8 '14 at 8:58

Based on two previous questions, Usage of "live" and "alive" and live or living in some city, I will answer your question in plain English. Please read the answers in those two questions carefully, especially Tyler James Young's and StoneyB's.

Also, I will discuss only the senses of live, alive, living, and lively that are related to the question.

  • live (v.) /lɪv/ = to have your home in a particular place
  • live (adj.) (only before noun) /laɪv/ = showing the characteristics of life
  • alive (adj.) (never before noun) /əˈlaɪv/ = living; having life
  • living (adj.) (usually before noun) /ˈlɪvɪŋ/ = alive (at the present time)
  • lively (adj.) /ˈlaɪvli/ = full of life, full of energy and enthusiasm

Now, we are ready to review your examples (which has been revised into three questions):

  1. Which one is correct or more accurate: "A lively child" or a "child who is alive"?
    Answer: Both are correct but they are different in meaning.
    A lively child = a child who is full of energy.
    A child who is alive = a child who is not dead.

  2. How do I say that Danny is not dead and he is living in his country?
    Answer: Danny lives in Australia.
    This means that Danny has his home in Australia. He lives there. Also, Danny is still alive.

 3. As for the last question, "What is the difference between live and living?", please study the definitions above. We normally use live as a verb, and sometimes as an adjective. The word living can be the present participle form of the verb live, or an adjective meaning "alive".

When we see the word live or living in a sentence. We can tell whether it is a verb or an adjective by analyzing the structure of the sentence.

Also, note the different pronunciations of the word live when it's used as a verb (pronounced /lɪv/, rhymed with give), and when it's used as an adjective (pronounced /laɪv/, rhymed with hive).

  • +1 Excellent! It would put icing on the cake to distinguish the pronunciations. Apr 7 '14 at 16:37

'Lively' serves as an adjective meaning 'full of energy' or 'life'. It can be used for a non living thing as well - a lively event (means an event that is full of energy, zeal, spirit...etc). On the other hand, a child who is alive will tell about the state of that child being alive - living soul, breathing.

Looking at your question, I think confused between 'live' and 'alive'. Both words can be found in dictionaries.

The telecast of a match can be live on TV. It's not alive. On the other hand, if you want to tell someone's existence, you tell he/she/it is alive; there 'live' won't fit.

In a laypersons' language, use live when something is happening right in front of you (live telecast, I'm watching this magnificent opening ceremony live, I'm in the stadium!) and use alive to say someone is breathing, existing, a living body.

Living is also used to mean that someone's staying/residing in that country/home. As in *he's living in [area, country, state or any such thing].

Interesting thing - you could say a live bomb which means that the bomb is breathing (?) and any time, may blast. There, alive is not that common I think.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .