First, I'm confused whether I should use word power or electricity.

The thing is, I want to say is this:

I feel sad/excited/etc. when the electricity/power is cut/goes/goes off/cuts off.

In simple words, I want to use this sentence when someone (or due to a fault) cuts the electricity supply of a city/area.

How should I say this?

Please let me know if this detail is not clear.

4 Answers 4


In British English we say when there is a power cut. I believe Americans call it a power outage.


As a British English speaker I would normally say "when there's a power cut". Wikipedia offers power outage, power out, power blackout, power failure or blackout as synonyms which may be more popular in other dialects.


As an American English speaker, I would use these:

  • when there is a power outage


  • when the power is out (a bit less formal, better if speaking to family/friends)

(By the way, I thought at first in your title you were asking for when the power outage is finished, meaning power is working normally again. If you care about that, I would say maybe power has been restored, or the power is back on.)


As a Canadian, I would say "when the power is/was cut" (most commonly), or "when the power is/was cut off" - "when the electricity was cut (off)" is not uncommon.

Note that "when the power was cut ..." has the connotation of an event that happened as a direct result of the power being cut (a bit like passé composé in French) whereas "when the power was out ..." would describe more general things or how you got along after (a bit like imparfait in French)

If it was the result of a general failure over a neighbourhood (i.e., not someone cutting a line on your property or a worker in your house shutting off the mains before doing repairs), I would instead say "When/with the power out, ..." or "During the blackout ..." or "During the (power) outage ..."

I would use "when the power was restored" or "when the power came back on" for when the electricity worked again.


You must log in to answer this question.

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