Life vs Live: Difference and Comparison

The English language can appear confusing at times. There are several words in the English language which appear to be synonymous.

However, in reality, they have sharp differences in several aspects. Life and live are words that vary on several grounds but may be confused to convey the same meaning. 

Key Takeaways

  1. “Life” is a noun referring to the existence of living organisms, while “live” is a verb that means to remain alive or experience life.
  2. “Live” can also be an adjective to describe events happening in real-time, such as live broadcasts or performances.
  3. The two words have distinct grammatical functions and cannot be used interchangeably.

Life vs Live

Life is the state or quality of being alive, from birth to death, and can also refer to the natural world. Live is a verb that means to experience or undergo something, such as living through a difficult time. It also refers to a performance or event happening in real-time, such as a live concert or a live broadcast.

Life vs Live

Life is a phenomenon that separates animate objects from inanimate objects. For example, Rafael was a musician for his entire working life.

Another commonplace meaning of the word life is to refer to one or more aspects of the process of living, such as an individual’s study/work life. Some phrases using life include the elixir of life and life sciences.

Live is a verb that refers to the process of being alive. For instance, I wonder what living in the 177th century was like. Another commonplace meaning of life is to refer to an individual’s residential address.

For instance, Johanna lives in an apartment on 47th Millbury Street. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonLifeLive
TypeThe word life is both a verb and an adjective. The word life connotes the process of staying alive. 
FrequencyStatistically, the word life is used more frequently than the word live. Statistically, the word live is used less occasionally than the word life. 
MeaningThe word life connotes the period between birth and death.The word life originates from the German word Leib meaning body.
OriginThe word life originates from the German word leben meaning live.The word live originates from the German word leben meaning live.
ExampleThe life circumstances of every individual are subject to variations. Haven lives in a rental apartment in Texas. 

What is Life?

Life refers to the ability to grow or change that differentiates plants and animals from rocks and minerals. Thus, life is a phenomenon that separates animate objects from inanimate objects.

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For example, Natalia believes that God gives life to all its creatures. Some phrases that use energy include the miracle of life and everlasting life. In addition, energy may also refer to the period when a person is alive. 

The word life is a noun that connotes being alive. For example, Michael believes in living life to the fullest. Ideally, life is a word that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body.

It may also refer to one or more aspects of the process of living. 

The plural form of life is lives. Symbolically, life refers to vitality, vigour, and energy. For instance, the phrase full of life refers to an energetic individual.

Life may also be used to refer to animation or spirit. For instance, Raven’s drama performance and expressions during the play were full of life.

There are several other less-known meanings of life. For instance, it may refer to the period of duration, usefulness, and popularity of something.

For example, the shelf life of vegetables and fruits. To conclude, there are several elaborate meanings of the word life. 

life

What is Live?

Live is a verb that refers to the process of being alive. In other words, to be alive connotes the life of a plant or an animal. For example, Shakespeare was one of the greatest writers living on Earth.

Another meaning of life is to specify the residential address of an individual. For example, I live on 46th Street, Marshall Avenue.

The past tense of the word live is lived. Live connote the residence in a home. For instance, Joe lives in a hairy house. 

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The phrase lives by may also be used to refer to the ideals or beliefs of a person. For example, some people live by the principle of helping others.

In a symbolic sense, the word life may conceptualize to mean a life rich in experience. For example, an individual who possesses ready wit and has a quick mind lives more in a day than an individual with a dull sense lives in a month.

The word life also serves as an adjective. In this sense, it refers to having a life—for example, a live lobster

Another ordinary meaning of life is to connote the broadcast of an event at the time of occurrence. For instance, the Iraq invasion was telecasted live on TV channels.

Another example is the cricket match between India and New Zealand was broadcasted live for the audiences to enjoy. Thus, the word live has multi-facet meanings. 

live

Main Differences Between Life and Live

  1. Statistically, the word life is used more frequently than the word live. 
  2. While life is a noun, live is both an adjective and a verb. 
  3. The word life originates from the German word Leib meaning body. On the other hand, the word life originates from the German word leben meaning live.
  4. The word life refers to the period when a person is alive. In contrast, the word live connotes the process of staying alive. 
  5. An example of life in a sentence is some people believe that every individual’s life is in God’s hands. In contrast, an example of life in a sentence is that Jacobs’ bad deeds caused him to live a life of misery.
Difference Between Life and Live
References
  1. https://prowritingaid.com/grammar/1000245/Live-vs-life%E2%80%94what-is-the-difference#:~:text=Life%20means%20the%20state%20that,having%20life%3B%20that%20is%20alive
  2. https://pediaa.com/difference-between-life-and-live/ 

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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9 thoughts on “Life vs Live: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The essence of both words is distinct, but it’s redundant to say that life is a noun and live is a verb when it’s already clear from their definitions.

    Reply
  2. The difference is clear, life refers to existence while live is about being alive and in real-time events. I’ve never heard most of those examples given in this post.

    Reply

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