It seems like my question was too broad to answer. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. I've edited my question a little.

So, I would like to know what common terms I can use instead of the word "die." Below are some words/phrases that I've heard before.

I would very much appreciate if you could tell me in what context (such as at a funeral or in a casual conversation) we use those words.

  1. pass away. (Also, are there any differences between pass away, pass on, pass over?)
  2. kick the bucket
  3. meet one's end
  4. depart this life
  5. have left us
  6. went to sleep
  7. decease
  8. lose one's life
  9. expire

Thank you.

closed as too broad by aedia λ, choster, user66974, FumbleFingers, tchrist Jul 25 '14 at 17:55

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Pass away - I agree that this is a more formally used phrase

Kick the bucket - This one is used quite commonly as a colloquial dysphemism (making it sound harsher than it is - avoid this at a funeral it may offend someone.

Meet one's end sounds more philosophical to me, sort of like implying one's death was part of their destiny.

Depart this life seems more spiritual, quite good to use when in the company of religious believers in my opinion.

Bite the dust - Quite like 'kick the bucket', this is another quite harsh dysphemism, again, if you are at a funeral, definitely do not say this one

Have left us - This one seems more of a term to use when discussing a friend or family member. To me, it sounds a little resentful of the dead person, so be careful if you were to use this.

Went to sleep appears to be used to mean someone literally died in their sleep, also could be used similarly to 'pass away', to demonstrate a painless and peaceful death.

Decease - Very common term. It is the most formal word to mean death, I would say this is very clinical, much like what a doctor would use to describe a death.

Lose one's life - like losing an object, it is unintentional, so more attributed to an accident or a death that is someone else's fault rather than any other sort of death.

  • 1
    If it's a funeral where you weren't all that close to the deceased, the slight formality of 'sadly passed away' might work (or it might sound mawkish). It probably depends on the atmosphere, and the tone of delivery. I agree, this is a very tricky situation. Certainly, none of the other expressions here work. 'Now that X has gone ...' is often used as a euphemism. Often it's best to stick with a quietly spoken 'I'm so sorry.' – Edwin Ashworth Jul 25 '14 at 8:14
  • "I'm sorry for your loss" or "my condolences" is what I usually go for if I do not know the person that well – ZenLogic Jul 25 '14 at 11:47

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