If a remote control has no batteries in it,is it natural to say:

I have to put the batteries in the remote control. (Or should it be : I have to insert the batteries in)

And if we remove the batteries,

I took the batteries out of the remote control.

And if some removes the batteries that are working, is it natural to say:

Hey,put them back in.

(And similarly if someone inserts dead batteries back into the remote,is it natural to say: Take them back out!)

Are my sentences natural?


Put the batteries in and take the batteries out are natural and idiomatic to me. Insert and to a lesser extent remove seem more formal, but that just makes them less likely to be used in everyday speech. They are the words that are used in written instructions, generally.

Your instructions to people to put batteries back in or take them out are perfectly good English, but depending on tone, context, and audience may be seen as rude, or at least as annoyed.

  • And is it natural to say: There are no batteries in the remote control. – It's about English Mar 25 at 10:42
  • Yes, that's natural. Well, it's more natural to use the ungrammatical contraction, "there's no batteries in the remote control", but the uncontracted form is fine. – SamBC Mar 25 at 10:50
  • And what do you think about "adding batteries"? "I've to add batteries to the remote." – It's about English Jul 23 at 15:53

Both put and insert are fine, although I think insert feels better and more suitable.
Instead of "took out", you could simply use "remove", but took out is also fine.

And yes, your sentences seem natural and alright.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.