A common mistake in English is when people use life, live and lives in the wrong situations. These words are pronounced in almost the same way and people get confused sometimes when to use life, live or lives.
Difference life, live and lives
Life: a noun that follows birth and precedes death. It’s used to describe the state of being alive.
- I have the best life ever.
- Don’t tell me what to do with my life.
- Life always finds a way.
Live: can be used as an adjective and means alive, live on TV, or the verb ‘to live’. The verb ‘to live’ is pronounced differently, but it’s written in the same way.
- Is the news live on TV?
- We live like a prince.
- He is afraid of live snakes.
Lives: the plural form of the noun ‘life’ and the third person singular form of the verb ‘to live’.
- Dogs don’t have nine lives.
- She lives like me.
- There are many lives at stake!
Life, live or lives overview
You don’t always know which of these words you should use based on the pronunciation. Looking at the context in which they appear is always a good idea so you know which one to use. You have a schematic overview below with their meaning and some examples:
|life||the noun ‘life’||I just love my life.|
the verb ‘to live’
|I am afraid of live animals.|
The news on TV is always live.
Do you still live with your parents?
|lives||third-person singular of the verb ‘to live’|
the plural form of the noun ‘life’
|My brother lives in Russia. |
A cat has nine lives.