1

I know that "to pass away" is the polite synonym for "to die". What is the polite synonym for "to be alive"?

I want to use it for the A's sentence in the following conversation:

A: Is your grandfather still alive?

B: No, he passed away last year.

Update:

  • I'm asking this question because I think if I ask someone this kind of touching question, they might consider it offensive and even reply me:"Did you expect him to be dead?". So I thought maybe there would be a better way for asking such questions on somebody's condition in terms of being alive or dead.

  • In eastern cultures including Iranian culture, there are honorific terms that should be used (as social etiquettes) when we are talking to/ about a person who is above us in terms of his/ her age (like a grandfather/ grandmother) or his/ her social position (a king/ a queen/ a president/ a boss, etc).

  • 4
    "Still alive" is polite. There are many other euphemisms you could use, though: Still ticking. Hanging on. Still with us. Going strong. Hanging by a thread. Which one you use would depend on particular circumstances, but in the example you gave, I think "still alive" probably works best. – Adam Feb 23 '16 at 17:08
  • Is your grandfather still extant? – nmtoken Feb 23 '16 at 20:34
  • @Adam, I see. Thanks for your comment. What if I want to ask "is the king still alive?" ? :) – Soudabeh Feb 24 '16 at 10:06
  • 1
    In most circumstances, the way you would ask about a king would be the same as the way you would ask about someone of lower status in AmE. The main difference is between formal and informal language in English. We speak more informally with people we know well and speak more formally to strangers. A king or judge might have a special way we address them, like Your Majesty or Your Honor that depends on their position. For example, How is His Highness doing? – ColleenV parted ways Feb 25 '16 at 20:41
  • Don't say "Has your father dropped off his perch?" – Michael Harvey Mar 17 '19 at 21:21
7

I would use "still with us":

Is your grandfather still with us?

Others may make alternate suggestions.

6

I agree on "still with us". But why broach the subject at all. "How is your grandfather?" is entirely polite, does not raise the possibility of death, and will elicit the same information.

2

What is the polite synonym for "to be alive"? I want to use it for the A's sentence in the following conversation:

A: Is your grandfather [still alive?]

B: No, he passed away last year.

"Still alive" is polite.

There are many other euphemisms you could use: Still ticking. Hanging on. Still with us. Going strong. Hanging by a thread. Which one you use would depend on particular circumstances, but in the example you gave, I think "still alive" probably works best

What if I want to ask "is the king still alive?" ?

Pretty much the same answer. "Still alive" is a fairly neutral and polite way of asking the question. "How is the king?" also works.

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