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I do wonder what is correct "until dead" or "until death". We have been arguing about this for a few hours. For me, it's more natural to say "Until dead" but I'm not sure, if I'm right or not. What is correct and what is not?

Thanks in advance.

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    Are you going to hang someone by the neck until dead, or are you going to make regular payments until death? More context would make your question clearer and make it possible to answer. – jejorda2 Oct 14 '15 at 15:44
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    From Google Books - hanged by the neck until dead:6,380 results, hanged by the neck until death,100 results. Draw your own conclusions. – FumbleFingers Oct 14 '15 at 15:45
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    @FumbleFingers Not quite the same context, but until death do us part has a long history. – bib Oct 14 '15 at 15:55
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    @bib: I guess it just depends on context - which OP has neglected to provide. – FumbleFingers Oct 14 '15 at 16:06
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    @bib until death do us part, death is a subject of a dependent clause. Not an object of a preposition until. – user140086 Oct 14 '15 at 16:06
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It might be a bit gruesome, but if you strangle somebody:

Until dead means untile he/she is dead.

A subject and the verb be in a dependence clause are omitted.

Until death means until his/her death occurs.

Here, death means:

the end of life : the time when someone or something dies.

I don't see any reason why either of them is wrong.

  • You strangle someone until dead. But you strangle them to death. The choice is idiomatically driven. – WS2 Oct 14 '15 at 22:41
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    Either way it is not a nice thing to do! – WS2 Oct 14 '15 at 22:56

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