Do you know the famous song named "staying alive" by Bee Gees? I want to know how to translate the sentence.

I think there are two ways of translating this title of the song.

First, while you are staying alive (adverb phrase) Second, staying alive is ~~ (gerund)

How can I tell the meaning of the sentence out of the two above when I meet "ing" form at the beginning of the sentence?

  • Staying Alive may be the song's name but it is not a sentence. Perhaps you could include the song lyrics in which this phrase is found. Then perhaps we would have more context in which to answer your question.
    – GoDucks
    Dec 24 '15 at 3:38

In the song it's the back part of a verb phrase in the progressive, with the BE piece omitted (along with the VP's subject) when the phrase is repeated:

Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother
You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive
Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin'
And we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive

This sort of deletion is very common in conversation:

Whatcha doin?
I'm jus chillin

What's 박용현 up to now?
He's asking questions on ELL.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.