Could you please tell me if the expression 'common life' is a correct one? If two people are living together, are they "sharing a common life"?

  • 1
    To replace common life, "life together", "cohabitation" or "conjugal relationship" may fit according to the context.
    – Graffito
    Oct 13 '15 at 23:40
  • I would say they are sharing a life in common. However I don't have any external source to back that up. Oct 14 '15 at 0:25
  • 1
    I've never heard the phrase. My intuitive interpretation would be "ordinary life".
    – Barmar
    Oct 14 '15 at 21:20
  • You may be thinking of "common law marriage", a legal concept where simply living together for some period of time (in some states in the US) causes a couple to be considered to be legally married.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 12 '16 at 3:52

I don't think 'common life' is anything like a standard phrase or collocation, especially in the sense you're using it.

For me, the easiest accessible sense of 'common life' would probably be the same as something like 'the average life of an average person'.

Nevertheless, I don't see any problem with using it as you seem to want to, as something like the intersection between two people's lives. For example, you could say:

"We sleep in the same bed. We drink the same coffee. We have the same friends, the same fears, and the same damn foibles! We share a common life!"

  • I'm not so sure. The first usage is so ingrained that for me, even in your context, the sentence,"We share a common life", would mean, "We share an average life". I think most people would say "We share/have a life in common." Oct 13 '15 at 23:43
  • @chasly from UK, I agree that it's pretty ingrained. I tried to give some context in which the other interpretation was buoyant, but maybe I failed... Maybe some other context could help it come out. In any event, this exchange should inform OP Jana regards their question.
    – DyingIsFun
    Oct 13 '15 at 23:46

“Common life” in the Christian context, falls under the word “discernment”, Christian context, which is, perception in the absence of judgement with a view of obtaining spiritual direction and understanding. Without providing a time of healing and discernment, there will be no hope of living through this present moment without a shattering of our “common life”.

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