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  1. #1
    olgkul is offline Newbie
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    Default What can I "shut"?

    I heard today from my co-worker," Shut the water"(the water was running). "Shut the light" -I heard from the same person a few days ago. Is it right to say?

  2. #2
    [M]in is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: What can I "shut"?

    I do not think it is right to say like that. You can use Collocations Dict to know which nouns is "shut" used with:

    Shut is used with these nouns as the subject: door, eye, factory, gate, mouth, shop

    Shut is used with these nouns as the object: blind, boot, box, briefcase, curtain, door, drawer, ear, eye, factory, finger, gate, hatch, lid, mouth, shop, suitcase, window

  3. #3
    Amigos4's Avatar
    Amigos4 is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What can I "shut"?

    Quote Originally Posted by olgkul View Post
    I heard today from my co-worker," Shut the water"(the water was running). "Shut the light" -I heard from the same person a few days ago. Is it right to say?
    Common usage in AmE is to shut something off, as in "Shut off the water." "Shut off the light." We would "shut the door" and "shut the gate."

  4. #4
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: What can I "shut"?

    "Shut the lights (or light)" is definitely heard in AmE. Some Americans also say "Close the lights." I am not sure whether these usages are regional or how widespread they are. I've never heard them in Canada, the UK or India. In Canada we say "Turn off the lights (or light)."

    I have never heard "Shut the water", but "Shut off the water" sounds perfect to me. I also have never heard "Shut the electricity." But in AmE "Shut off the electricity" means to disconnect it at the main switch.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What can I "shut"?

    [M]in and olgkul, welcome to the forums!

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can I "shut"?

    You can "shut out the light" by, for example, putting very thick black blinds or curtains up at the windows in order to stop any light getting in. It does not mean "switch off the electric light using the switch on the wall".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #7
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What can I "shut"?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    "Shut the lights (or light)" is definitely heard in AmE. Some Americans also say "Close the lights." I am not sure whether these usages are regional or how widespread they are. I've never heard them in Canada, the UK or India. In Canada we say "Turn off the lights (or light)."

    I have never heard "Shut the water", but "Shut off the water" sounds perfect to me. I also have never heard "Shut the electricity." But in AmE "Shut off the electricity" means to disconnect it at the main switch.
    I've never heard any American say either "shut the lights" or "close the lights."

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can I "shut"?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I've never heard any American say either "shut the lights" or "close the lights."
    Nor have I. I have heard "shut off the lights".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  9. #9
    probus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What can I "shut"?

    Looking into it a little, it seems to be a New York regionalism.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What can I "shut"?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    "Shut the lights (or light)" is definitely heard in AmE. Some Americans also say "Close the lights." I am not sure whether these usages are regional or how widespread they are. I've never heard them in Canada, the UK or India. In Canada we say "Turn off the lights (or light)."

    ...
    Maybe this has something to do with the number of Spanish-speakers (that is, first or only language speakers) in the southern US. I believe the same thing happens in French - which adds Louisiana to the group of possible sources for this false friend.

    b

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