bulb can light up / bulb can light

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ridgemao

Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin
Hello:

In this book(i-Science Textbook 5 By Ho Peck Leng):
Now, if you are given a dry cell, a bulb and a wire, how will you arrange them to form a closed circuit so that the bulb can light up?



1, The bulb can light up.
2, The bulb can light.


Are the above two sentences correct in this context?


Thank you.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I prefer "light up" in that sentence, ridgemao, because that's the way speakers generally describe a bulb that begins emitting light. "Light" by itself is unusual. When I read it, I find myself looking for some object that the bulb is lighting.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I would say that they are adequate, not very good. (1) almost gives the impression the bulb is about to smoke a cigarette. (2) has me asking what the bulb is going to light.
    I would use a form which presents the bulb as an object, not a subject: "... arrange them in a closed circuit so as to light the bulb".
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I would say that they are adequate, not very good. (1) almost gives the impression the bulb is about to smoke a cigarette. (2) has me asking what the bulb is going to light.
    I would use a form which presents the bulb as an object, not a subject: "... arrange them in a closed circuit so as to light the bulb".
    To me that sounds odd. It suggests shining another light on the bulb. And I don't think the cigarette problem is solved anyway in this manner, because also "light the bulb" could give the impression of setting fire to it.:D
     
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