2

I'm just a beginner. So, I'm sorry for my bad English. I bumped into a question on Instagram onto a page created for people who want to improve their English skills. The question was " All the lights in the building suddenly went...? A) off B) out C) down " The correct answer was A but I didn't get it. So I was just wondering what is the difference between went out went off and went down.

6
  • 1
    "went" is the past simple tense of go, so look up the meaning of "go off/out/down“ in any online dictionary. Try Lexico or Merriam-Webster
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 25, 2021 at 11:13
  • Lights go off or out. Computers go down. Jan 25, 2021 at 11:26
  • 1
    @KateBunting, the lights can "go down" in a theater, before the start of a movie or play. Jan 25, 2021 at 11:44
  • @whiskeychief Very true - I hadn't thought of that one. Jan 25, 2021 at 12:35
  • 1
    I'd say the test is wrong. "off" and "out" are both correct. In fact, I think "out" is even a little better. "The lights went off" is what you would expect to happen when you flip the switch at the end of a work day, for instance, but if "the lights went out", we have no idea why, and the test question included "surprising", so I'd have chosen "out"
    – gotube
    Jun 2, 2021 at 20:03

2 Answers 2

3

Lights go off when people (or timers) make that happen using a switch.

Lights go out when there is a power failure or other accident.

Lights go down when they dim. That happens in a theater when the play is about to start.

To me, in your question, the "suddenly" suggests a power failure. The lights went out. I would choose (B).

0

I think using "went off" is related to "turn off lights", which means the light is turned off.

You must log in to answer this question.

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