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The thing to note here is that "los" in your example means "being loose". Which makes your sentence translate as follows Etwas ist los. Something is going on The four points you make I can answer as follows: 1) "loswerden" is a verb, meaning to get rid of something. It's not the same as the adjective. 2) You can't quantify "dead" either (a little ...


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Duden deems it to be an adjective: http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/los_losgeloest_abgetrennt. I tend to agree that it should be regarded as an intransitive phrasal verb. The copula argument, however, is not quite right: It can be used with "werden" and with "bleiben": "Pass auf, sonst wird der Hund los!" or "Egal was Du sagst, mein Hund bleibt los, ...



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