Engaging cannons

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failbetter

Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin
I'm watching an episode of Supergirl, in which three guys A, B, C are fighting with a bad guy D. All are aliens. A sits in a control room, assisting B and C. To them, he gives the following order:"Engaging cannons. Aloian attack formation."

Cannons are those in their fighter plane.

I don't understand what "engaging cannons" means.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    The verb "engage" is used in wars and fighting. It means to attack. Often it is a command "Engage the enemy!".

    If he says "engaging cannons" as an announcement, it means "I am shooting our cannons at the enemy".

    You don't use "-ing" for an order. You use "-ing" for something you are doing:

    (Now I am) engaging (our) cannons.

    He may be mis-using the term. He may mean he is "arming" or "unlocking" the cannons, so that pilots in the fighter planes can use them to attack. His central computer may "lock/unlock" the cannons on the airplanes.
     

    failbetter

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mandarin
    The verb "engage" is used in wars and fighting. It means to attack. Often it is a command "Engage the enemy!".

    If he says "engaging cannons" as an announcement, it means "I am shooting our cannons at the enemy".

    You don't use "-ing" for an order. You use "-ing" for something you are doing:

    (Now I am) engaging (our) cannons.

    He may be mis-using the term. He may mean he is "arming" or "unlocking" the cannons, so that pilots in the fighter planes can use them to attack. His central computer may "lock/unlock" the cannons on the airplanes.
    Your explanation is crystal clear, especially this one:
    You don't use "-ing" for an order. You use "-ing" for something you are doing:

    (Now I am) engaging (our) cannons.
    Thank you very much!
     
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