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Which of these alternatives seems more correct or natural?

We consider death as an enemy
We consider death an enemy
We consider death to be an enemy

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2 Answers

All three are grammatical. I regard the latter two forms as meaning “We believe death is an enemy”. In writing, I'd use the sleeker second form, not that fat, verbose third form.

The first form may be taken to have the mentioned meaning, but it can have a second meaning as well. That is, the form consider X as Y is sometimes used to mean analyze the Y aspect of X, and sometimes as believe X is Y.

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Well put. Let me summarize (with just a dash of prescriptiveness): To avoid ambiguity and verbosity, use the second form. –  mklement Sep 12 '12 at 2:08
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All three are valid, mean the same thing, and would be readily understood by most English-speaking people. Take your pick.

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Thanks. Can I pressure you into picking one as a personal preference? –  Jeffrey Kemp Aug 30 '12 at 14:22
    
I know this wasn't aimed at me, but... I would say 'to be' is the more correct option, because 'enemy' is a state that matches 'to be'. The other two are more about viewpoint, and I think would be better as 'seen as' or 'viewed as'. –  Roaring Fish Aug 31 '12 at 0:47
    
I'd be more likely to say "to be", but it's a very close choice. –  Jay Aug 31 '12 at 13:58
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