When the light bulb is not working

Discussion in 'English Only' started by JohnDR, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. JohnDR Senior Member

    When the light bulb is not working, what do you say to describe this situation? Can you say "The light bulb is dead"?

    What else can you say?

    Thank you!
  2. Aidanriley

    Aidanriley Senior Member

    SD, California
    Out. (maybe AmE)
    The light bulb is out.
  3. BellaDancer

    BellaDancer Senior Member

    When light bulbs are not working around my house I tell my husband, "The hallway light is out."

    That means that the bulb is not working. If it were just that it was not lit, I would say, "the light is off."
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Or "gone" (BrE - I expect there are alternatives, but this is mine:))
  5. mplsray Senior Member

    I would most often say The (light) bulb's burned out.
  6. Aidanriley

    Aidanriley Senior Member

    SD, California
    Really? The light bulb is gone? Hehehe I like that.
  7. BellaDancer

    BellaDancer Senior Member

    "Burned out" is good -- common and unambiguous.

    "The bulb's burned out." Absolutely.
  8. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    You don't say: "You need to change the light bulb in the hallway"? :D
  9. BellaDancer

    BellaDancer Senior Member

    Ah, no. This is the secret to the successful marriage. Make an observation, not a demand! :)
  10. Aidanriley

    Aidanriley Senior Member

    SD, California
    Yeah, the husband should automatically understand that he needs to change it. If he simply says, "That it is", an argument would follow. :D
  11. I'm with Loob.

    'The bulb's gone' is what we've always said in our house, too.

  12. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Us too. Or possibly, "The light <name of location> 's /not working/ /doesn't work/."
  13. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Him: The light (or bulb, or rarely, lightbulb) is out/burned/out/dead/shot in the aviary and the turkey hawks are complaining of great difficulties in reading American Conservative.

    Her: Tell them not to worry. I've seen that issue, and it's just the usual nutty rantings of Buchanan and friends.

    Him: Oh, I get it. When I'm out telling them to get something better to read, you expect I'll change the bulb as well?

    Her: Yes, Darling. Most perceptive.
  14. jubilant930 New Member

    When a light doesn't work because a bulb needed to be changed, what do we say in American English? "The bulb blew up"?
    Thank you!

    << Moderator's note: This thread has been merged with an earlier thread. Please read from the top. >>
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2013
  15. gramman

    gramman Senior Member

    Burned out is often used. (Burnt out in BrE, I think.)
  16. morior_invictus

    morior_invictus Senior Member

    Hi jubilant,
    although I`m not American, I would say "the (light) bulb popped out / exploded / burned out."
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  17. boozer Senior Member

    ...or 'the bulb is fused'

    PS. Ah, sorry, I don't know if this would be good in AE...
  18. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    I've only heard "the bulb is burned out" (the glass is intact, but it doesn't conduct electricity anymore).
    "Exploded", to me, suggests broken glass flying in every direction.
    "Popped out" sounds as if the bulb came out of the socket, and you just have to put it back in, securely, and there's light.
  19. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
    BE: I normally say "The bulb is dead"

    Maybe that's just me.
  20. Embonpoint Senior Member

    Yes. I am very likely to say "the bulb died" or the "bulb is dead." It burned out is also very common. These are the two ways I've heard most in AE. I've also heard the bulb blew out but that's not the standard expression.

    << Threads merged. Thank you. >>
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2013
  21. Miss Julie

    Miss Julie Senior Member

    Chicago metro area
    I go with burned out as well. I also might say blew out if it happened spectacularly (i.e., with a pop/flash).
  22. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
    I just thought of another very common version (at least in BE)

    "The bulb has gone."


    Could you look at my nearside headlight? I think the bulb has gone.
  23. theartichoke Senior Member

    English -- Canada
    I'd say "the bulb blew" with no preposition. "Blew up" to me means it exploded; "blew out" I would only use for a candle.

    Not sure if this is standard Canadian usage, but I suspect it is.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  24. Clause Member

    British English
    I speak British English. I would say 'the bulb blew'. If the bulb exploded and the glass shattered flying across the room, I would say 'The bulb blew up'.
  25. Guycon New Member

    UK English
    I typically use the past participle. That is to say, "the bulb has blown" or "the light has blown". I would also usually include a location, such as "the kitchen light has blown". The same goes for pretty much anything electronic, such as "the fuse has blown" or "the kettle has blown".

    The "bulb has gone", to me, indicates a possibility of theft or misplacement. For example, "the outside bulb has gone again". "Burnt out" is something I've never heard anyone in the UK say.

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