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Thread: alight on

    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 3

    alight on

    In your irregular verb list 'alight' is defined as 'get off ...'.
    As a birdwatcher I see a great deal of alighting on. In fact I would never have thought of a bird alighting off a branch; or the ground.
    In my mind I always 'get off' a bus or train although signs in public vehicles do mention alighting.
    I don't know about alighting on/onto a bus or train personally, but I have seen birds do so.
    It seems that 'alight' is a subject-sensitive verb; there must be many others.

    There may even be alight at the end of the tunnel.

    I prefer 'alit' for the past form but usually 'alighted' sounds better (to me) as the partciple.

    But the word is old-fashioned.

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: alight on

    Both uses have the sense of "to come down". You alight from a bus, but a bird or butterfly alights on a branch.

    There is also something alight which may a light at the end of the tunnel.

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