alarm clock - go off/set off

< Previous | Next >

CORALINNA

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brasil
Do these 2 phrasal verbs mean the same (=to make na alarm start ringing)?

1) My alarm clock didn't go off.

2) My alarm clock didn't set off.
 
Last edited:
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    I have never heard of an alarm clock "setting off." In AE, only sentence #1 is correct.

    It's "phrasal" verbs, by the way.
     

    CORALINNA

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brasil
    According to the Longman Dictionary:

    set something off
    to make an ALARM start ringing
    Smoke from a cigarette will not normally set off a smoke alarm.

    So, "set off" would only be used for other types of alarm?
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    It's not a matter of the type of alarm but of the construction of the phrase.

    As you note, "set off" is used when you mean "to make an alarm start ringing." Thus you could say "I accidentally set off my alarm when I was changing the time on the clock."

    When you are talking about your alarm activating in the morning, you can not substitute the construction "make the alarm start ringing," because you are not saying something or someone set it off.
     
    Last edited:

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    One sets the alarm to/for 7 a.m. The alarm clock is set to go off at/for 7 a.m. (How the timepiece sets off the alarm, a noise, is not important: it only needs to work.

    GF..

    If the alarm didn't go off/wasn't set off at 7, then I would not have been able to set off on time.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "My alarm clock didn't go off." :tick: The verb is intransitive.

    "The smoke set off the alarm." :tick: The verb is transitive. The smoke caused the alarm to go off.
    "My alarm clock didn't set off." :cross:
     

    Murtaza Daka

    New Member
    English
    I understand about set off and go off
    But I have a sentence which is not going pl help me
    The sentence is : it is my granny's old alarm clock. Now I want to writr somethis about the clock that it starts the alarm by its own
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hello Murtaza Daka - welcome to the forums!

    I think that what you probably want is "The alarm went off by itself". Does that fit?:)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top