Hi....
I'm learning (trying to :-) english and while reading some text yesterday I saw such an expression "I am become death". I guess it's something similar to "I've become death" but it doesn't match any of grammar rules I know. I suppose it's something as in german. I mean (for those of you who know something about german):
"Ich habe gemacht" so we use haben (to have in english), but "Ich bin gegangen" and here it's replaced with sein (to be). I thought it may comes from some old times when in english such a situation was possible. Am I right?
If anyone know what's it all about I'll be grateful for explaining it to me.

Thank you in advance

Valamarth valamarth(at)frugo.pl Nigdy nie k³óæ siê z g³upcem, ludzie mog± nie dostrzec ró¿nicy.
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This is poetry, or some strained writing. Just glance at it and go on to something written in normal English. Give us a few lines before and after and the author's name if you want more on this.

Richard Maurer To reply, remove half
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<< (Valamarth) I'm learning (trying to :-) english and while reading some text yesterday I saw such an expression "I ... normal English. Give us a few lines before and after and the author's name if you want more on this.[/nq]
Yes, it is poetic, or something like that. Google produces many hits for the phrase, including a title for a documentary film on the A-bomb.

Then again, some of the hits might be along the lines of "All your base are belong to us", I didn't check.

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It's a vestige of Latin, not standard in modern English. In this case, it's poetic license. Mike Hardy
Hi.. I'm learning (trying to :-) english and while reading some text yesterday I saw such an expression "I am ... I thought it may comes from some old times when in english such a situation was possible. Am I right?

Your explanation is also what I have guessed when confronted with this situation, but I don't have any proof. "I am come" occurs in various poetic and early modern English writing (e.g. Dylan Thomas' "A refusal to mourn"). "I am gone" is perfectly current; most likely this "gone" is heard as an adjective rather than a past participle, but the line between these two is rather fuzzy.
Hi.. I'm learning (trying to :-) english and while reading some text yesterday I saw such an expression "I am ... right? If anyone know what's it all about I'll be grateful for explaining it to me. Thank you in advance

There is a tendency, which was once much stronger than it is now, to use archaic forms of words for translations of religious texts into English. This one ("I am become death, the destroyer of worlds") is from the Bhagavad Gita, and was famously quoted by Robert Oppenheimer at the first A-bomb test in 1945. The translation is probably 19th century. As you suggest, there was a time, much longer ago than that, when such constructions were common in English. There are quite a lot of them in the King James Bible, which itself was probably an influence on the translator of the Gita.

Don Aitken
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<< (Valamarth) I'm learning (trying to :-) english and while reading some text yesterdayI saw such an expression "I am ... normal English. Give us a few lines before and after and the author's name if you want more on this.[/nq]
It's from the Bhagvad Gita. As Valamarth suggests, it's an old fashioned way of saying, 'I have become Death'.
m.
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(I am become death.)
This is poetry, or some strained writing. Just glance at it and go on to something written in normal English. Give us a few lines before and after and the author's name if you want more on this.

It is a translation of a Hindu religious text. Gods talk like that. After all, what kind of English is "I am that I am."

Lars Eighner finger for geek code (Email Removed) http://www.io.com/~eighner / "The deepest experience of the creator is feminine, for it is experience of receiving and bearing." -Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke
Thus spake Don Aitken:
There is a tendency, which was once much stronger than it is now, to use archaic forms of words for ... lot of them in the King James Bible, which itself was probably an influence on the translator of the Gita.

It looks as if you are saying that the "archaisms" in the KJV were deliberate (I doubt that's what you wanted to say).

They weren't archisms then, you know. In fact, the translators shewed a progressive spirit in using the English personal pronouns that correspond in grammatical number to the Hebrew/ Greek/ whatever pronouns, instead of following the power semantic in general English usage of the time.
Of course, the translators' innovative spirit caused a return to an earlier time, in which pronouns weren't marked for class.

Yet again, innovation was nothing new.

Simon R. Hughes
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