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own lives Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2018 11:41:56 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 3,569
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Spade was 55 and Bourdain 61 when they took their own lives.

Is "own"optional?

Thanks.
thar
Posted: Saturday, June 9, 2018 11:57:55 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 17,122
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No, not optional, because the standard phrase is 'to take your own life'.

So here, even though 'their' shows whose lives they took, it is not enough. It sounds odd without it. You still follow the standard formal phrase - they took their own lives.
ChrisKC
Posted: Sunday, June 10, 2018 2:08:53 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/27/2014
Posts: 274
Neurons: 98,196
Location: Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand
I sympathise with the OP's question but as Thar says, it sounds odd without the "own". The native English Speaker immediately thinks, "took their lives", where (somewhere) or how (e.g. seriously). Yet, we would say, "they took their belongings" or "they took their time"
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