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  1. Banned
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      • Native Language:
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    #1

    battery go bad va. flat. dead

    If I leave batteries on a device without using for a long time, the batteries will produce liquid and never can be used again. How can I call those batteries?
    1. Those batteries go bad.
    2. Those batteries are flat.
    3. Thosr batteries are dead.
    Are they all correct? If so, which one is most common?

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: battery go bad va. flat. dead

    Batteries can 'go' bad/dead/flat, but since you're describing them when they're already in that state, I'd say 'are bad/dead/flat', or 'have gone bad/dead/flat'.

    To me, 'dead' and 'flat' are the same. However, it just means they don't have any power left in them. They aren't corroded or leaking.

    Sometimes we do refer to the corroded/leaking ones as 'bad', but I'd never use 'dead' or 'flat' to describe leaky ones. I'd either say 'bad' or 'corroded', or maybe 'leaking.'

    However, 'bad' can be used to mean the same as 'dead' and 'flat' as well.

    They're probably all equally as common. I alternate between all three terms myself.
    Also - you leave batteries 'in' a device, not 'on' them.
    Last edited by Skrej; 09-Jul-2015 at 04:36. Reason: typos

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: battery go bad va. flat. dead

    If a device wasn't working and I opened the back to find dried liquid in the battery compartment, I would say "The batteries have leaked [all over the place]" and I would replace them.
    If the device wasn't working but there was no sign of leakage in the battery compartment, I would just say "The batteries are dead. I'll have to put in some new ones".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: battery go bad va. flat. dead

    To me, using BrE, it is almost the same as Skrej's answer for AmE.

    "dead' and 'flat' are the same. However, it just means they don't have any power left in them. They aren't corroded or leaking." The same in BrE.

    "Sometimes we do refer to the corroded/leaking ones as 'bad', but I'd never use 'dead' or 'flat' to describe leaky ones. I'd either say 'bad' or 'corroded', or maybe 'leaking.'" In BrE, I would probably never use "bad" at all in connection with batteries. We'd tend to use "bad" mainly in connection with fruit, grain, or other foods. Of course, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to use it as the Americans do, we just don't in connection to batteries. However, we would say, "This connection is bad" or this "line is bad" in relation to using the internet or telephone. So as you see, there really isn't any real reason why one couldn't use it about batteries.

    I would probably just say they "aren't working" to mean that they can't be charged, but aren't leaking or corroded. Where they are corroded or leaking, I would tend to specifically say "leaking" where fluid was escaping or "corroded" only where dry disintegration was taking place.

    The differences between AmE and BrE usage here are slight, but that may help you understand why English speakers and writers use words to refer to batteries in different ways.

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