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    #1

    go off or go out

    I was taking a shower when the power suddenly went off ( no electricity).

    That was what I heard a local English channel reported on a power outage. I want to confirm if 'go off' was used right. Thank you.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: go off or go out

    Quote Originally Posted by jiamajia View Post
    I was taking a shower when the power suddenly went off ( no electricity).

    That was what I heard a local English channel reported on a power outage. I want to confirm if 'go off' was used right. Thank you.
    Yes, it means the same as a power outage (power cut in BrE).

    The electricity goes off about five times every day. It's really annoying.

    I was in the middle of watching a great film when the power suddenly went off!


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    #3

    Re: go off or go out

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Yes, it means the same as a power outage (power cut in BrE).

    The electricity goes off about five times every day. It's really annoying.

    I was in the middle of watching a great film when the power suddenly went off!
    Thank you. That helps me a lot, because I used 'an alarm went off' to mean the alarm was triggered off. So, I thought 'go off' meant something becomes 'on' rather than 'turned off'.

    However, can we use 'the power suddenly went out' to mean the same thing?
    Last edited by jiamajia; 02-Aug-2010 at 16:47.

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    #4

    Re: go off or go out

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Yes, it means the same as a power outage (power cut in BrE).

    The electricity goes off about five times every day. It's really annoying.

    I was in the middle of watching a great film when the power suddenly went off!
    Can I say "The power suddenly went off when I was in the middle of...(or "...when I was watching...") ?
    Can we use "is off" or "is cut" instead of "goes off" ?
    Thank you very much !

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    #5

    Re: go off or go out

    Quote Originally Posted by crazYgeeK View Post
    Can I say "The power suddenly went off when I was in the middle of...(or "...when I was watching...") ?
    Can we use "is off" or "is cut" instead of "goes off" ?
    Thank you very much !
    The power suddenly went off while I was watching TV.
    The power suddenly went off in the middle of my favourite film!

    "The power is off" explains the current situation but doesn't give a clue as to whether it happened unexpectedly or if perhaps someone switched the power off on purpose.

    "The power went off" refers to the fact that it has already happened but suggests that it happened unexpectedly.

    "The power is cut" - I wouldn't use this. If I didn't pay my electricity bill and the electricity company decided to take away my service, I would be able to say "I've been cut off" or "The electricity company has cut me off".

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: go off or go out

    In the US, you could say either that it went out or went off. Both have the same meaning.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #7

    Re: go off or go out

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    In the US, you could say either that it went out or went off. Both have the same meaning.
    I have a context like when hearing someone say "It went out/off" ,but I don't know what "It" here is, I think it can be a person, an animal, or the power... So the meaning of that sentence depends on the "It" and I can't understand what that sentence means exactly, can I ?
    Thank you very much !

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    #8

    Re: go off or go out

    Yes, but I thought that "it" had a clear antecedent: the power/electricity
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #9

    Re: go off or go out

    "To go off" also used for bombs as in "The bomb went off." In this case, it's "to explode".
    But for a bomber it's "to set off" meaning "to detonate".

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    #10

    Re: go off or go out

    Quote Originally Posted by jiamajia View Post
    Thank you. That helps me a lot, because I used 'an alarm went off' to mean the alarm was triggered off. So, I thought 'go off' meant something becomes 'on' rather than 'turned off'.

    However, can we use 'the power suddenly went out' to mean the same thing?

    That's the problem with alarms. We say they went "off" but really it is something that is turning on, like a buzzer or a flashing light.

    It's a quirk of the language.

    When something like the electricity or the heat "goes off" it means it is off.

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