I pressed the button and the alarm went off.

tufguy

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1) I pressed the button and the alarm went off.

2) The alarm has gone off set it off.

3) The alarm was going off so I set it off.

4) The alarm has gone off and it is ringing but nobody has come yet to help us.

5) The alarm has been going off for few minutes and making a lot of noise turn it off.

Please check my sentences.
 

Skrej

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1) I pressed the button and the alarm went off.:tick:

2) The alarm has gone off set it off.:cross: ???

3) The alarm was going off so I set it off.
tick.gif
cross.gif
(grammatical but nonsensical)

4) The alarm has gone off and it is ringing but nobody has come yet to help us.
cross.gif
needs punctuation or separation.


5) The alarm has been going off for few minutes and making a lot of noise turn it off.
cross.gif
run-on sentence. Make the imperative a separate sentence.


Please check my sentences.

See above.
 
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Tdol

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3) The alarm was going off so I set it off.
You might turn an alarm off if it was ringing without cause.
 

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You might turn an alarm off if it was ringing without cause.
Setting an alarm off can mean activating it so that it sounds, or setting it so that it doesn't sound.
"The bomb was about to explode, so I set it off" probably reveals the ambiguity better.
 

tufguy

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See above.

1) I pressed the button and the alarm went off.

2) The alarm has gone off turn it off. (What is the proper way to say this?)

3) The alarm was going off so I set it off. (What is the proper way to say this?)

4) The alarm has gone off. It is ringing but nobody has come yet to help us.

5) The alarm has been going off for few minutes. It is making a lot of noise turn it off.

Can we also say "The alarm is ringing"?
 

tufguy

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Setting an alarm off can mean activating it so that it sounds, or setting it so that it doesn't sound.
"The bomb was about to explode, so I set it off" probably reveals the ambiguity better.

So "set an alarm off" is correct. Am I correct?
 

emsr2d2

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"Set off an alarm" is the more natural order. That's what we do when we press a button (or similar) in order to make the alarm bell ring.
 

andrewg927

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"The bomb was about to explode, so I set it off" probably reveals the ambiguity better.

Hmm, this sentence can only mean I stopped the bomb from exploding. The other meaning of "set off" just doesn't make sense in this case.
 

andrewg927

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1) I pressed the button and the alarm went off.

2) The alarm has gone off turn it off. (What is the proper way to say this?) The alarm has gone off. Could you turn it off?

3) The alarm was going off so I set it off. (What is the proper way to say this?) The alarm was going off. I turned it off.

4) The alarm has gone off. It is ringing but nobody has come yet to help us. The alarm has gone off but nobody has yet come to help us.

5) The alarm has been going off for few minutes. It is making a lot of noise turn it off. It is making a lot of noise. Could you turn it off? Or Please turn it off.

Can we also say "The alarm is ringing"?

Yes. You can say "The alarm is ringing".
 

Tdol

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Raymott

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So "set an alarm off" is correct. Am I correct?
I would turn an alarm off if it was ringing. To me, setting anything like an alarm involves changing the settings. "To set an alarm off" is ambiguous, as I've explained above.
 

emsr2d2

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I think we've got some variant differences here. In BrE, if you activate an alarm, whether on purpose or not, you "set it off".

Dave: What the hell is that noise?
John: It's the fire alarm. The people upstairs have set it off again. They must be cooking chips!
Dave: Well, I wish people would be more careful. I've lived in my house 17 years and I've never set mine off!
John: I know. It's really annoying. The noise should stop in a minute. They usually run downstairs to the control panel and switch/turn it off really quickly.

Mary: I can smell smoke.
Pete: Sorry, that's my fault. I've burnt the cakes.
Mary: Is everything OK in the kitchen?
Pete: Actually, no. The oven's on fire and I can't put it out!
Mary: Quick. We need to get out of here and set off the alarm so our neighbours evacuate too!
 
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Raymott

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Hmm, this sentence can only mean I stopped the bomb from exploding. The other meaning of "set off" just doesn't make sense in this case.
Really? "To set off a bomb" is quite normal in AusE.
The sentence is not completely natural. But it makes sense (to me) in the context in which it was written - demonstrating an ambiguity. That's where the sense lies.

"The bomb disposal squad determined that the bomb was about to explode in a populated area. So, they removed it to an abandoned field and set it off." In AusE, the meaning "they detonated it" would be understood in preference to "they switched off the detonating mechanism."
 

andrewg927

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Really? "To set off a bomb" is quite normal in AusE.
The sentence is not completely natural. But it makes sense (to me) in the context in which it was written - demonstrating an ambiguity. That's where the sense lies.

"The bomb disposal squad determined that the bomb was about to explode in a populated area. So, they removed it to an abandoned field and set it off." In AusE, the meaning "they detonated it" would be understood in preference to "they switched off the detonating mechanism."

I see. It makes more sense now.
 

Skrej

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I've never heard 'set off' used in AmE to mean any kind of deactivation, only activation. If I understand the thread correctly, in some variants it can mean something like 'set it to the off/safe position' ?

As such, I didn't see the original sentence as ambiguous, just non-nonsensical as you can't set off (activate) something that's already activated.

For example, the following is nonsensical in AmE. "I was tired of the alarm ringing, so I set it off."

However, the following does work. "His cigarette set off the smoke alarm.'
 

andrewg927

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Agreed. I don't use "set off" to mean "turn off" unless it is to make sense of what otherwise is nonsensical. Either way, it's not a natural way to express the idea.
 

Tdol

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I would turn an alarm off if it was ringing. To me, setting anything like an alarm involves changing the settings. "To set an alarm off" is ambiguous, as I've explained above.

I meant that it was a correct sentence, but for me setting an alarm off is starting it, not turning it off.
 
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