I wonder, in Spanish we have to different words for to be (location) and to be (description) from my point of view, as a natural Spanish speaker tho I've spoken English all my life, just not as much, they are different meaning.

I wonder if William Shakespeare was pointing this metaphysical duality/ambiguity. Is there comparative studies or material done about this? does anyone think is there any ground for this ? also I dont know if this is a philological or philosophical question so I might have put it in the wrong place.

  • What does "W.S" mean? That whole sentence doesn't make much sense. Please edit this to give it a proof read :)
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 3, 2016 at 2:10
  • Sorry, I edited now, I was talking about the author, I understand he was curios minded, good with romance languages and interested in methaphysics, that's why I have always wondered if there is more to that simple sentence that escapes ...
    – maco1717
    Jul 3, 2016 at 2:16

1 Answer 1


The Natural Semantic Metalanguage is a framework which attempts to identify the basic semantic building blocks of human language, which they call "semantic primes." These words (sometimes affixes or phrases) are the base level semantic concepts on which everything else is built, and are argued to be present in every natural language.

NSM researches have identified several distinct predicators. Although they all use is/be in English, in other languages they are conveyed with different words.


But Shakespeare wasn't writing about different kinds of being: Hamlet was considering whether it is better to live or die.

  • Couldn't being dead or alive be considered a tipe of being? I also believes he talks about suicide which again can be considered being something, isn't it possible to say that to be someone you need to be somewhere, like, the location of and object is ineligibly linked to what it is, you put a glass of water where the glass of water has to be to drink water. BECAUSE THE GLASS OF WATER GOES THERE?
    – maco1717
    Jul 3, 2016 at 2:44
  • @maco1717 I meant that he's not considering two different kinds of being, like being somewhere.
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 3, 2016 at 3:00
  • that's a fair point, I always thought about the possible double meaning but semantically there's not much space for that I think.
    – maco1717
    Jul 3, 2016 at 3:11
  • I think that's it. To be something and to be somewhere are the same thing. they might be different paradigms and mental construct but in essence it is the same thing. I am something because I am somewhere and viceversa. would it be possible that tho using a word with to meanings in one of it's meaning he was saying that both meanings are the same?
    – maco1717
    Jul 3, 2016 at 4:14

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