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  1. keannu's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
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      • South Korea
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    • Join Date: Dec 2010
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    #1

    set off the metal detector

    Does it mean "You are caught while going through the metal detector due to metals in your body"? "Set off" doesn't seem to make that kind of meaning, so I'm curious. This is from a workbook explaining airport stuff.

    ex)He set off the metal detector at the airport.
    gibon140

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: set off the metal detector

    I could be for any reason. A metal pin in his ankle after surgery. A wrist watch he forgot to take off. A money clip in his pocket. The metal detector went "off" (alerted, beeped, whatever it does).
    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.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: set off the metal detector

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Does it mean "You are caught while going through the metal detector due to metals in your body"? "Set off" doesn't seem to make that kind of meaning, so I'm curious. This is from a workbook explaining airport stuff.

    ex)He set off the metal detector at the airport.
    gibon140
    'Set off' is often used like this. 'The burglar stepped on the pressure-pad and set off an alarm'. If you wanted one word, it would be something like 'trigger' (v.)

    b

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