Nyida, "zij stierven van honger"= they died by lack of food. For instance: kidnapped and than abandoned somewhere in an unknown place, without food./// while, "zij stierven van DE honger" = "van de hongersnood" (refers specifically to the state of poverty). In de second case, I'd put FAMINE as a second, alternative valid translation. The first sentence ( without "de") can take only "hunger" ad translation, though. What do you think, Nyida, do you agree? Post-scriptum: what means [ leaving off "snood" would change the meaning...]? I am Dutch speaker, I still have some understanding problems with English, happens. Thank you for now, Nyida! Lu.
On a related note, in English, we might say "I'm starving" to put force behind your statement, instead of saying "I'm so hungry". Anyone will assume you mean the latter and won't think you're talking about being affected by famine. Since you're a non native English speaker, this is continuous (so starving is the verb "to starve" in its continuous form), and you're not using an adjective (hungry is an adjective). Does Dutch do something similar? If so, how do you construct that? And how lax are native Dutch speakers about using that construct?
thanks for the notes Lu. There's some ambiguity in the second one tho. Both of tthose English sentences that you got from "Zij konden de honger niet weerstaan" could refer to famine or hunger kinda like what I mentioned above in response to one of your other comments months ago, where a native English speaker might overexaggerate by saying they're "starving" when it's more like having late lunch than a state of poverty. "To not be able to stand something" is also an idiom meaning to not like something at all, but it can also refer to inability to survive through something. Can you please clarify that?
I asked a similar question above. The reason "They were starving" was marked wrong is because it means something different. If they were starving but now are not, it could be because they died from hunger, or it could be because they have since eaten and are no longer starving