A well known conjugation rule in all languages is the distinction
between a noun and a verb. Hebrew has such distinctions also.
The noun-verb distinction has well known philosophical connotations:
Verbs typically require time to develop while nouns are static. We
shall use this philosophical distinction to enhance the Rashi comment.
Verse Nu20-03c discussing the rebellious request of the Jews,
that they would have rather died in a plague, then die by starvation,
And the people strove with Moses, and spoke, saying:
'Would that we had died during the national death before HaShem!
The Rashi comment on the underlined words is a technical comment in Hebrew but
the gist of it is that The Bible uses the noun form - national death -
versus the verb form - the dying of the nation.
For those more familiar with Hebrew Rashi distinguishes between
BiG-Vo-Ah (verb-to die) and BiG-VaH (noun-death).
The use of a noun vs. a verb paints a picture of psychological state.
The verb denotes process while the noun denotes instantatiety,
The desert Jews feared ...to die...a process of death; they instead
wanted death the instantatiety of immediate death. The Jews wanted
to get it over with and have it end. Because of their Egptian experience they
were afraid of anything involving a process.