Like in English, can the verb 死ぬ be used for places like towns or stores, like "Man, this town is dead." Or like with objects, "The phone is dead."

I'm thinking that 死ぬ can only be used for things that are animate, like people or animals. Is this correct? If so, what verbs/phrases would be better to use for the above examples?

1 Answer 1


この町は死んでいる is a perfectly understandable way of describing a ghost town ("liveliness" is an important factor of a town).

Something like スマホが死んだ is relatively common in slangy or geeky speech, too, but it normally means the smartphone is broken (the ordinary way of saying this is スマホが壊れた).

  • 2
    'The phone is dead' means that it's out of power in English, not that it's broken - may be worth making a note of
    – Angelos
    Dec 28, 2022 at 9:46
  • @Angelos Thanks, corrected.
    – naruto
    Dec 28, 2022 at 10:00
  • the OP is asking about the verb 死ぬ (shinu) not the adjective 死んでいる. I've disambiguated the two in my answer.
    – ChatGPT
    Jan 1, 2023 at 3:16
  • 4
    @MaxHodges, 死んでいる is a verb, not an adjective. Jan 4, 2023 at 6:15

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