Dieing vs. Dying: What’s the Difference?

There is a quite a bit of confusion surrounding the verb to die and its various tenses. Is dieing or dying correct to use when we are writing about death? What about dyeing? What is the difference between all of these?

Today, I want to go over the basic tenses of to die, their uses in a sentence, and give you a few ways to remember which is correct. After reading this post, you shouldn’t have any trouble picking the correct tense to include in your writing.

Let’s get started.

When to Use Dieing

dieing versus dying grammar rulesThe first thing that you probably noticed when typing out dieing on your computer keyboard is that a red line appears underneath it. What’s the deal with that?

Well, that’s because dieing is actually a misspelling. Yes, that’s right; dieing is a common misspelling when used to refer to death, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a word. Although Microsoft Word doesn’t recognize it, dieing is a real word, but it isn’t at all related to death.

If you are dieing something, you are cutting or stamping it with a die, which is a device used for cutting, forming, or engraving metals. It is a process used in machining, and your local town may even have a “tool and die shop,” which would make extensive use of the process.

With the exception of this specialized use, average writers will almost never find themselves using the verb dieing, so they can effectively eliminate it from their vocabulary.

Just remember, dieing has nothing to do with death, so unless you’re talking about machinery, forget the words exists.

When to Use Dying

If you are referring to death, the verb you have in mind is most likely dying.

Dying is the present participle of die, i.e., to cease living. For example,

  • Soldiers are dying for their country.
  • I think my car is dying right now.

Dying can also be used as an adjective meaning on the point of death or extinction.

  • Her dying words were that she loved him.
  • Proper penmanship is a dying art form.

The word dying has no other meanings other than those dealing with death or, more broadly, ceasing to exist, so you can remember that only dying deals with death.

When to Use Dyeing

is it dying or dyeing in a sentenceAnother word that sometimes gets confused with dieing and dying is the word dyeing, which, again, has nothing to do with death, but it still quite confusing.

Dyeing is the present participle of dye, i.e., to color with a liquid. For example,

  • I can’t talk right now; I’m dyeing my hair.
  • These jeans are faded; I’m thinking about dyeing them.
  • This is a good material; it should dye well.

Remember the Difference

As I said above, it’s best to effectively eliminate dieing from your vocabulary, as it usually just leads to more confusion. Unless you are a machinist, you will almost never use it.

You can remember that dyeing has to do with materials and clothes, all three of which have the letter “E” in them.


These three words are very easy to confuse with each other and can make your writing look very sloppy if you mix them up. We should therefore be sure to never mix up dying vs dieing vs dyeing.

Dieing is a word, but it’s one you should almost never use, and it never refers to death.

Dying refers to death.

Dyeing refers to coloring a fabric or other material.