What phrasal verb do we use when talking about a radio, TV or another device that suddenly stops working?

went off / down / out?

This the context:

When Radio 4 unexpectedly went ___ during an evening broadcast of Midweek in 2012, a tweeter wondered whether nuclear war had broken out.

1 Answer 1


"Silent" is most natural (for radio, but not really for TV). "down" and "out" are also fine.

"went off" is little less natural, as one may initially think of turning off the radio, instead of it going down due to technical difficulties.

If you were talking about an individual device, you would probably say "The radio stopped working" or "The radio broke". If it was a car, you would say "The car broke down."

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