for example.

she lived to be ninety

what does that sentence mean?

Is it meaning of "she lived in order to be ninety" or "she lived and just became ninety"?

I have learned it as she lived and just became ninety. but I do not understand why.

infinitive used as adverb has the intention, but I have learned that is "result" so she lived and finally she became ninety years old. that is what I have learned. could you explain why it has meaning of result?

  • It's an idiomatic answer for "How long did she live?" It's true that this is different from "She lived to be happy", which would mean that happiness was the reason for her staying alive.
    – deadrat
    Feb 1, 2016 at 4:15

1 Answer 1


It's an idiom, and therefore attempts to parse it will be frustrating. In N American English, the statement means that she has lived until reaching the age of 90. In the absence of additional information, the statement implies that she died before reaching the age of 91.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.