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From my personal experience, 「亡くなる」 is the most neutral word. 「先生のお父さんはがんで亡くなられたよ」 - "Our teacher's father died from cancer" 「死ぬ」 is a strong word that is usually avoided by polite people, but is used to express emphasis or to deliberately offend. It can also be used to talk about animals. 「勝手に死ね！」 - Literally, "Die on your own!", but is very strong and ...
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