go off

Er.S.M.M.Hanifa

Banned
Tamil
Hi everybody,
1. My alarm didn't go off.
What does it mean?
Does it mean that the alarm does not work.
Please explain.
Thanks,
Er.S.M.M.Hanifa
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Actually, it means the opposite. When an alarm clock "goes off", it gives the alarm. Similarly, if dynamite "goes off" it explodes. Things that are triggered by something, "go off" when the trigger starts them.

    That is, your understanding in the first post is correct.
     

    bepleased

    Banned
    Chinese
    Hi,

    "It goes off" means that it goes off the original status of being put down.

    "off" used for describing the way of the action of the verb---it how to go---
    "off" telling the way ---to go in the way to be freed from and by a process of friction against the device that puts it down not alarm
     

    tievoli

    Senior Member
    P.R.China
    If an alarm bell goes off, it makes a sudden loud noise;
    If an electrical device goes off, it stops operating.

    So sorry for my previous nonsense...
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    My alarm didn't go off

    This doesn't necessarily mean that the alarm is not working.

    It just means that it didn't sound on this particular occasion. There may be a variety of explanations for this:

    a. the alarm may be broken.
    b. you may not have set it correctly - maybe the time wasn't right, or you confused am and pm. Maybe you didn't press the right button.
    c. someone maybe reset the alarm while you were asleep.

    All that we know from the sentence, if true, is that the alarm didn't sound at the time you'd expected it to ring to wake you.

    If you wanted to say that the alarm didn't stop ringing when you tried to stop it making its noise, you be more likely to say it wouldn't stop ringing. It wouldn't go off carries so much the meaning that Cagey and Sound Shift, and I, have explained that most people would avoid it.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Am I right here?

    "Thank God your alarm clock went off. We didn't miss the bus." - the alarm clock started to ring, it is fine.
    "To bad your alarm clock went off. You need to get a new one." - the alarm clock is broken.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Am I right here?

    "Thank God your alarm clock went off. We didn't miss the bus." - the alarm clock started to ring, it is fine.
    "To bad your alarm clock went off. You need to get a new one." - the alarm clock is broken.
    The first is fine. The second is unidiomatic.

    Meat and fish go off - become putrid - but alarm clocks break.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Three different meanings of "go off".
    1. To do what it is supposed to do - an alarm goes off (it rings), a bomb goes off (it explodes).
    2. To have switched to its "off" state - a heater goes off - it stops heating, a light goes off - the room is now dark.
    3. To become putrid - this meat has gone off - it stinks.
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    Three different meanings of "go off".
    1. To do what it is supposed to do - an alarm goes off (it rings), a bomb goes off (it explodes).
    2. To have switched to its "off" state - a heater goes off - it stops heating, a light goes off - the room is now dark.
    3. To become putrid - this meat has gone off - it stinks.
    Also:
    4) to become less fond of/disenchanted with: "I've gone off George a bit since he told me he's a Trump supporter."
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    In casual conversation, you may also hear:

    Where's Tom?
    He's gone off to town.
    (= He has gone to town.)
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    To become putrid - this meat has gone off - it stinks.
    And does this use of 'go off' work as an adjective? If not, what do I say?

    "Are you really going to treat the guests to this gone-off meat?"
    "Ugh, I'm not going to eat this gone-off soup."
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    I'd say "gone bad" for meat and most foodstuffs, but "gone off", "turned", or "gone sour" for milk, "gone stale" for bread, "gone rotten" for fruit and vegetables, etc. I wouldn't even always even add "has gone" and might say "This xxxx is (adj.)".
     
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