blow [intransitive, transitive] to be moved by the wind, somebody’s breath, etc.; to move something in this way

  • adv./prep. My hat blew off.

  • adj. The door blew open.

blow somebody/something + adv./prep.
I was almost blown over by the wind.
She blew the dust off the book.
The ship was blown onto the rocks.
The bomb blast blew two passers-by across the street.

blow something + adj.
The wind blew the door shut.

I want to use the structure "blow something + preposition" with "the candles", but I don't know the preposition that express "to make a fire stop burning".

  1. off (preposition) down or away from a place or at a distance in space or time
  • I fell off the ladder.
  • Keep off the grass!
  1. used to say that something has been removed
  • You need to take the top off the bottle first!
  • I want about an inch off the back of my hair.
  1. away from work or duty
  • He's had ten days off school.

"off" is a preposition, but the dictionary doesn't say anything about fire, I also think about the adjective "extinguished", but it sounds bizarre.

Can we say "to blow the candles off" or "extinguished"?


2 Answers 2


Extinguish is the verb that means to cause a fire or light to cease to burn or shine.

The fire brigade extinguished the fire.

"Put out" is a more casual, and possibly wider-used way of saying the same thing.

I put out the fire.

These can refer to almost any method of extinguishing a fire, such as smothering it, using water, or a fire-extinguisher.

"Blow out" is the idiomatic way of stating that a fire has extinguished by a sudden gust of air. This is most commonly used when people blow out a candle with their own breath, but it can also happen to a fire in a fireplace if a gust of wind suddenly comes down the chimney. It would be very unusual for this to happen to a large fire.

He blew out the candles on his birthday cake.

  • 1
    So much better answer than mine, it makes me want to delete it. hahaha Jan 31, 2020 at 13:23

Do you really have/want/need to go with the verb to blow? A good way to say is

to put out: to stop something that is burning from continuing to burn.

Be sure to put out your campfire before you go to sleep.

Still, if you must use to blow, you'd have to say to blow the candles out, not off.

  • No - with blow it's out, not off (also blow out the candles, never blow off the candles). Jan 31, 2020 at 13:18
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica You're right, just did the research. Thanks! Jan 31, 2020 at 13:19
  • 1
    No it isn't - it's blow out, the same as put out. A fire has gone out when it has used up all its fuel and stopped burning. Jan 31, 2020 at 13:19
  • @KateBunting just corrected the answer. Thanks! Jan 31, 2020 at 13:20

You must log in to answer this question.

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