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    #1

    Taling about 'traffic lights'

    Is there any difference between British and American English when it comes to 'traffic lights'?
    I know that American speakers call the amber light 'yellow light'.
    But do both varieties of English use 'lights' in the plural?
    Let me exemplify my point with a couple of sentences:
    1)'He crossed when the lights were amber'
    (Would an American speaker say: 'He crossed when the light was yellow'?)
    2) 'Stop! The lights are red!'
    (AmE.Stop! The light's red!)
    I'd appreciate some informed opinion.
    Thanks everyone

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    #2

    Re: Taling about 'traffic lights'

    the title should read TALKING about traffic lights....

  1. Amigos4's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Taling about 'traffic lights'

    Quote Originally Posted by wace View Post
    Is there any difference between British and American English when it comes to 'traffic lights'?
    I know that American speakers call the amber light 'yellow light'.
    But do both varieties of English use 'lights' in the plural?
    Let me exemplify my point with a couple of sentences:
    1)'He crossed when the lights were amber'
    (Would an American speaker say: 'He crossed when the light was yellow'?)
    2) 'Stop! The lights are red!'
    (AmE.Stop! The light's red!)
    I'd appreciate some informed opinion.
    Thanks everyone
    Hi, Wace!

    US traffic lights are primarily referred to as being 'red', 'yellow', and 'green'.

    While 'He crossed when the light was yellow' is grammatically correct, it would not be a very safe time to actually cross the street! Usually, pedestrians cross intersections when the traffic light is green, or there is a dedicated signal installed to inform pedestrians they have the right of way to cross.

    "Stop! The light is red!" Go! The light is green!" "Be prepared to stop when the light is yellow!"

    Cheers,
    Amigo

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    #4

    Re: Talking about 'traffic lights'

    Amigo
    Thank you for enlightening me about the usefulness of traffic lights and the meaning of the three colours. As it happens, we've got quite a few of them in Europe as well.
    My question was only about the choice between singular and plural.
    Forget about the Highway Code!
    Thank you for your promptness.
    Have a nice day!
    Wace

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