I got a distraught text recently from someone who wrote, “I am going to dye!” Of course, it was an exaggeration and I had to smile because this person wrote “dye” instead of “die.” It was probably an autofix or she didn’t bother to check the text before sending. Still, I figure there are people who may genuinely not know the difference so here is a quick breakdown of the difference between the words:
Die, as used in the quote above, means end of life. In this case, it is used as a verb.
For example: I don’t want to die from cancer. (Present tense)
For example: My pet died when I was a little girl. (Past tense)
Die is also means a (usually) six-sided cube that is used for board games and other games. In this case, the word is used as a noun.
For example: I will throw the die after Sharon. (Singular)
For example: You may roll the dice next. (Plural)
Dye is the act of giving color to something or someone. In this case, the word is used as a verb.
For example: The hair stylist wants to dye my hair a darker color. (Present tense)
For example: The hair stylist dyed my sister’s hair purple yesterday! (Past tense)
Dye is also the thing itself that gives color to something or someone. In this case, the word is used as a noun.
For example: There are natural materials, such as beets, that make a great dye. (Singular)
For example: How many color dyes do you have? (Plural)
That’s it! That’s not hard to understand, right? For a printable version of this post, subscribe here. Subscribers, go to your private download page.
Tweetable: Misused Words: Die, Die and Dye