Using 'that would kill me'

Hi! Enjoy it!

I was discussing the following thing yesterday.

Take a look at this dialogue:

A: Didn?t you want to know how it tastes that poison?
Drink it!

B: No, no… I?ll die if I do it!

Someone told me he hadn?t heard that “I?ll
die if I do it” in all his life. He proposed
to use “No, no… that would kill me!”

It sounds good to me, but why not that
“I?ll die if I do it”. Isn?t it grammatically

I am now thinking that “that would kill me” is
much more used in a figurative way, not. Like this:

Someone says to me: Steal that bag to her!

And I say: No, no… that would kill me!.
I could never live in peace after having
done that.

Thanks again and again!


Hi Jesus

You can use both die and kill figuratively.

Using the word “will” makes the sentence sound more probable / likely to happen / real.

Using the word “would” makes the sentence more theoretical.

How probable or realistic is it that you would ever knowingly drink poison? It’s unlikely, right? You’d usually talk about something like that theoretically. And to talk about something theoretically, it’s better to use would:

I would die if I drank that poison.
– OR –
Drinking that poison would kill me.

Now let’s take a different situation. In both versions of this situation, kill is used figuratively, but sentence 1 is more theoretical than sentence 2:

  1. Your son has done something very wrong, but you don’t plan to tell your wife about it. You say to him:
    It would kill your mother if she ever found out!
    (Everything is very theoretical. You don’t really expect you wife to find out.)

  2. Same situation, but this time you say:
    It will kill your mother if she finds out!
    (Now you think it’s possible that your wife will find out somehow what your son has done.)

Here are a couple of common expressions:
die of embarrassment
kill (somebody) with kindness

Hope that helps a bit.

Hi, Amy! how are you? Thanks a lot!

Well, i was thinking about another example.

Someone says to me:

Pull your heart out!

And I say:

I?d die if I did it.

It?s not likely to happen. So, I should
use “would” then. Right?
I want to ask you another question.

Must I use a simple past in the “if” sentence?

i mean, Must I use “did” instead of “do”?

I?d die if I DO it.

I know the rule is that you must use a past
simple in this conditional, but It sounds
so bad to me!. Help me, please!

Thanks indeed!


You can say either: I’d die if I did it/that or I’ll die if I do it/that..

Both sound fine.