Grammar Question

by Leeraay
(Gainesville, FL, USA)

1. Here is a news article from newspaper, in it one sentence I don't understand the meaning. Please help me.

He was 74.
Nelson, who was battling complications of colon cancer, died Tuesday at his Los Angeles home, said family spokesman and longtime Hollywood publicist Dale Olson.

Nelson was the last remaining member of the Nelsons TV family, which included actor/bandleader Ozzie, his singer wife, Harriet Hilliard and his teen idol brother Rick.

He is survived by his wife, Yvonne; four sons and a daughter; and seven grandchildren.(He is dead. Why said he is survived by...?)

2. How can I use keep for this sentence, is this correct?

........Thank for keeping doing that............

Thanks so much for teaching,


Comments for Grammar Question

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Jan 14, 2011
A comment for Ola!
by: Bettina

Hi Ola,
I would like to let you know how much I like your answers.

Often, I'm looking for grammar questions for the simple pleasure to read you explications.
Thank you very much!

Jan 14, 2011
A suggestion for your question!
by: Bettina

Hi Leeraay,
I'm an English learner like you and I don't know if this is the right answer but I would like to try.

In my opinion" he's survived by" means that his wife, his sons, his daughter and his grandchildren are still alive.

In other words, he died and he left them alone and now they have to live without him. They survived him.

I hope I'm right and that my explication makes sense.

It's the first time I try to answer to a question.
High-Five Bettina! Great work! You are correct. Just look at Ola's explination! You are spot on (correct)! - Diana

Jan 14, 2011
by: Ola Zur

Hi Leeraay,

I can sure understand what confused you: the word "survived."

Well, the word "survive" has several different meanings. The most common one is: "to continue to live or exist."

Now, in this case it doesn't make sense! Nelson has died, so this definition doesn't fit in this case.

By checking the word "survive" in the dictionary we can see it has another definition: "to live longer than somebody else."

For example:
She survived her husband by five years. (= She continued to live 5 years after her husband died.)

He is survived by his wife and six children. (After he died, his wife and his six children continued to live.)

So in our case, the sentence "He is survived by his wife, Yvonne; four sons and a daughter; and seven grandchildren" simply means that Nelson died, but his wife, children and grandchildren continue to live.

TIP: when encountering sentences that don't make sense, the best thing to do is to check it out in a good English dictionary. You may be surprised by what you find out :)

Ola Zur is the editor of, an illustrated guide to English.

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