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1-Is death like when you were not born yet?

2-Is death like it was before you were born?

I have seen the number 2 structure in a philosophical forum which includes both native and non-native spekers.

And I found the structure of the sentence quite interesting, because I would not have been able to form that structure. It might be because I am not a native speaker.

So, I tried to form my version which is the number 1, and wonder if it would be correct English.

So I wanted to ask if my structure is also correct and it creates the same meaning?

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    What is your opinion? Where do you think there might be a problem> Jan 22, 2023 at 22:51
  • It's hard to judge structures when the sentences are nonsensical. Jan 23, 2023 at 2:23

1 Answer 1

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Both sentence structures are grammatically correct and convey similar meanings, however the second sentence structure is more commonly used and is considered to be more idiomatic.

The first sentence, "Is death like when you were not born yet?" is asking if death is similar to the state of not existing before birth, which is a common way of thinking about death, however the structure could be more idiomatic.

The second sentence "Is death like it was before you were born?" is asking if death is similar to the state of not existing before birth, but the structure is more common and natural.

In both sentences you are asking if death is similar to the state of not existing before birth, but the second sentence is a more natural and idiomatic way of expressing this idea in English.

It is important to remember that language is always evolving, and sometimes it's possible to find different ways of expressing the same idea. If you are a non-native speaker, you may not be familiar with the idiomatic ways of expressing a certain idea and that's completely normal. The more you practice and read, the more you will be exposed to different ways of expressing different ideas. Hope this helps, feel free to ask me any further questions.

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  • I disagree with the answer given. Neither question makes any sense. The first question asks whether death is like an unspecified period of time. Death cannot be compared to a period of time. The second question asks whether death is like it was..... It's not possible to know what the it refers to. The questions would have to be completely rephrased to make any sense. Jan 23, 2023 at 16:36

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