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Verbs and Phrasal Verbs to do with Life and Death

Many verbs have different meanings, however this section deals with verbs and phrasal verbs connected with life and death. An example is provided only where the verb is commonly used in everyday conversation.

One irregular verb in bold is shown in all its forms.


The Verb (infinitive form) The Meaning An example
( Simple Past Tense)
To bury To put a dead body into the ground. We buried him in December. Regular
To cremate To burn a body, usually as part of a funeral ceremony.

She was cremated. Regular
To die
To stop living or existing, either suddenly or slowly.
My mother died in 2005. Irregular
To drown To die under water.
Many sailors drown. Regular
To execute
To kill someone as a legal punishment.
He was executed for mass murder.
To kill To cause someone or something to die. It is estimated that smoking kills 120,000 people every year. Regular
To live To continue, to be alive or have life.
She lived for 100 years. Regular
To murder The crime of intentionally killing a person.
It is thought that Dr Harold Shipman murdered 400 people. Regular
To procreate To produce young.
About five hundred penguins get in a big circle and they procreate. Regular
To suffocate To die because of a lack of oxygen.
The autopsy showed he suffocated. Regular

Phrasal Verbs

The Phrasal Verb The Meaning An example
( Simple Past Tense)
To bump off To murder someone (slang). He didn't die of natural causes, someone bumped him off. S
To commit genocide To murder a whole group of people, especially a whole nation. Mr Powell concluded that that genocide had been committed in Darfur. I
To commit suicide If a person commits suicide, they kill themselves.
Ian Curtis committed suicide by hanging at the age of 23. I
To drop dead To die suddenly and unexpectedly. He dropped dead in the middle of a game of cards. I
To give birth When a woman or female animal gives birth, she produces a baby from her body.
She gave birth to twins. A boy and a girl.


To grow up To gradually become an adult. I grew up in England. S
To pass away A polite expression for dying. He passed away last year. I
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