SOS English: life vs. live

“Live life to the fullest.” – or is it “Life live to the fullest.”? Not sure? Well, it happens more than often that people confuse “life” with “live” and vice versa. But fear no more! Check out this quick explanation to make your life a little easier πŸ˜‰


“Life” is a noun. The word describes the state between birth and death. People, animals, and plants are considered a part of life or to be alive, whereas rocks aren’t. 

But watch out: “life” is the singular form and therefore is meant for one single being. If you want to talk about the life of several living beings, then you need the plural form “lives.” 

He wanted to spend the rest of his life in that country.Β 
During the Cold War, they spared his life.
I’ve recently read a book about the life of Salvador Dali.

The heroes saved all the people’s lives.
My friends’ lives differ entirely from mine.
You play with people’s lives every day.

πŸ’‘ “Life” is the noun of being alive.
πŸ’‘ The plural form of “life” is “lives.”


“Live” works both as a verb and adjective. It could also work as an adverb; however, it’s relatively uncommon.

As a verb, it stands for “to be alive.” It is the Simple Present tense of “living.” As an adjective, it stands for “being alive.” It’s commonly used for unrecorded media productions (= “live concert”).

“Live” as a verb:

My aunt Frannie lives in Utah.
I want to live as if it was my last day.
He lived close to work.
They had to live through this situation.
How long were they living like this?

“Live” as an adjective:

It was the band’s first live concert.
We went to the bar where they play live recordings of new artists. 
They’re currently airing live coverage of the press conference.
My favorite artists just released a live album.
This is a live performance and not an autotuned recording. 

“Live” as an adverb:

His speech was broadcast live on television.
She’ll be singing live at the concert this evening.
I want to see it live with my own eyes.