What is the difference between "burned the lamp" and "burned of the lamp" ?

Does "burned the lamp" mean "A fire burned the lamp, and the lamp burned out and disappeared" ? Does "burned of the lamp" mean " Light came out of the lamp. In other words, the lamp was not on fire, so the lamp is still fine" ?

what's the difference between "burn something" and "burn of something"?

  • Neither expression is idiomatic English: we say (or we did in days when lamps had open flames) that a lamp burns. Where did you find them? Aug 26, 2017 at 1:46
  • I see the sentences, "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" and "If the force of her emotion hadn't burned the lamp out, it certainly could have" and "burn the lamp it's getting dark"
    – user22046
    Aug 26, 2017 at 1:49
  • 1) Burn the midnight lamp is Hendrix' poetic variation on the expression "burn the midnight oil"; burning of the lamp is the standard way of recasting a finite verb phrase as a gerund The "force of her emotion" doesn't burn the lamp, it burns it out--the speaker imagines that her emotional energy is channeled into the circuits of an electric lamp and burns out the filament. "Burn the lamp" looks to me like a non-native-speaker utterance for "light the lamp". Aug 26, 2017 at 1:58
  • So what's the difference between "burn something" and "burn of something"?
    – user22046
    Aug 26, 2017 at 2:01
  • Consider a clause like He read the decree publicly. If you want to refer to that event as a noun, using the -ing form of read with a determiner, and with an adjectival modifier instead of an adverb--his public reading--it can no longer take an object; the object has to be expressed with an of preposition phrase: his public reading of the decree. Aug 26, 2017 at 2:20

1 Answer 1


To burn a lamp means to use it to produce light. A lamp burns out when the fuel is exhausted or (in the case of an Edison lamp) when the filament wears out and breaks.

In this quote the reference is to the failure of an electric lamp:

Across from the house, at an angle, the lamp in front of 41 Mariner made a loud pop and went out. Joe glanced sideways and saw the brooding eyes of Taryn fixed in that direction. If the force of her emotion hadn't burned the lamp out, it certainly could have.

The author is saying that it almost looked like she broke the filament by staring at the lamp.

The phrase "burned of the lamp" refers to a burn from touching a lamp while it is hot. Here is an example:

George Armstrong, while descending the stairs in the rear of his little son, wife and lady guest, caught his heel on the step which threw him forward, coming in contact with those in front of him; they all landed in the hall promiscuously. They escaped serious injuries, but were badly bruised and burned of the lamp which was in the hands of one of the party. --The Argus Reflector, January 18, 1883, page 5

The expression "burned of a lamp" is archaic. Today we would say "burned by a lamp".

Perhaps you meant "burning of the lamp" which refers to its operation. You could say:

The burning of the lamp produced a hissing noise and an unpleasant odor.

  • Does "burned of the lamp" mean "Because of the lamp they were burned" ? So, Can not we use "burned the lamp" instead of "burned of the lamp" to express the same meaning?
    – user22046
    Aug 26, 2017 at 2:21
  • 1
    No, they mean very different things. To burn a lamp means to use it to produce light. To be burned of a lamp means to hurt oneself by touching it while it is hot.
    – David42
    Aug 26, 2017 at 2:54
  • Does "she hurt me" mean "because of her, i am depressed" but "she hurt of me" mean "she hurt herself by touching me (that is, because of me, she is depressed)" ?
    – user22046
    Aug 26, 2017 at 3:13
  • Neither "I was burned of the lamp" nor "she [was] hurt of me" are idiomatic in today's English. You should not use either one if you want to be understood by English speakers who are less than 120 years old.
    – The Photon
    Aug 26, 2017 at 5:12
  • As far as I am concerned, burn of the lamp is not English, so what it means is open to cnjecture.
    – Colin Fine
    May 31, 2020 at 15:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .