If water doesn't come out through the electric water pump, that is, if it dosen't take up water and it keeps running, air might enter it and it might stop working as well. What will be a natural way to describe that? I read "air entrainment", but I guess that it is rather formal. Is there any informal and natural way to describe that "air entering the pump"?

Turn it off, or air will enter into it.

Turn it off, or it'll take up air.

  • A technical term is "to lose prime" ("prime" referring to the state of being full of water; "priming" meaning to fill the pump with water before turning it on) Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


A polite yet instructive way to say it might be:

Turn off the pump to prevent air from entering into it.

This sounds cautionary, but by avoiding "or" it sounds less like a threat!

"Taking in air" should be easily understood; not so much "taking up", which idiomatically means something else entirely.

  • And what about: "taking up air" Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 7:47
  • @It'saboutEnglish Perhaps "taking in air". "Up" is a specific direction.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 7:50
  • So will it sound okay if I say: "The water pump will take in air"? Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 7:51
  • @It'saboutEnglish yes that sounds fine.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 7:51
  • Last question. What will sound more natural: "take in air" or "enter into"? Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 7:52

You must log in to answer this question.

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