How come it was "is it dead" not "was it die", or "is it die"?
"Dead" is used here instead of "die" because "dead" is an adjective while "die" is a verb. Since they are describing the state of the thing that looks like it is dead, they use the adjective "dead" to describe the noun "it". This is usually the case with the phrase "is it", because anything after this phrase is usually an adjective. However, if you wanted to ask about the state of a verb you could instead use the phrase "did it". Ex: The bird is dead. Ex: Did the bird die?