He died young

Assalam O Alaikum.
When a person die at young age we say:
He died young.
So when a person died in the old age or at childhood, can we say:
He died old,
He died child ?

Hi Attai Khan,

No, we don’t say ‘he died old’ or ‘he died child’.

Since it is natural for people to die when they are old, there isn’t really any point in saying that a person died when he was ‘old’. However, if a person had lived an exceptionally long life before dying, you might say something such as this, for example:

  • He died at the ripe old age of 103.
  • He died at a ripe old age.

If a child dies, you might say one of these:

  • He died in childhood.
  • He died at a very young age.

[size=75]“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.” ~ Erma Bombeck[/size]

“He died young.”
Is it acceptable? Grammatically correct?

Hi Allifathima,

Yes, ‘He died young’ is a commonly used expression.

[size=75]“Only the good die young.” ~ Billy Joel[/size]

  1. ‘He died young(adj)’.
  2. "At least they died happy(adj)’.
    In the above two sentences, after verb adjectives are used.
    Normally I have seen adverb only as in sentence # 3.
  3. He died peacefully.
    Under what reason “He died old.” is wrong?
    Please enlighten me with its relevant grammar.

Hi Allifathima,

You’re right. Normally you would expect an adverb after a verb. However, in the sentences you posted, the adjective refers back to the subject. The adjective basically tells you what state the subject was in at the time death occurred:

  1. He died young. = He was young at the time he died.
  2. At least they died happy. = They were happy (about everything in general) at the time they died.

If you said ‘they died happily’, that would mean something different. In that case the adverb modifies the verb and basically means that they were happy to die. The act of dying was done in a happy, willing manner.

In sentences 1 and 2 above, the verb ‘die’ works much the same way a linking verb does – even though ‘die’ isn’t typically thought of as a linking verb.

  1. He died peacefully. --> The adverb ‘peacefully’ describes the manner in which he died.

[size=75]“It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.” ~ Winston Churchill[/size]

  1. He died young. => He was young at the time he died.
    This same explanation I apply for the following sentence as below:
    1. He died old. => He was old at the time he died.
      How one can say this sentence is wrong?
      I need a little more explanation to understand its grammar.
      Will any one help?

Esl-Expert explained this in message #2, Allifathima.