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Hello everyone,

1. Does "goes off" mean "starts" or "continues", or means both in the following sentence?

- If the alarm goes off, leave the site as soon as possible.

2. If I use "goes on" instead of "goes off" as follows:

- If the alarm goes on, leave the site as soon as possible.

will it change the meaning of my sentence?or do they imply the same meaning?

Regards,

JA

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Joseph A1. Does "goes off" mean "starts" or "continues", or means both in the following sentence?
- If the alarm goes off, leave the site as soon as possible.

It means starts (and then, we assume, continues for a period of time).

Joseph A2. If I use "goes on" instead of "goes off" as follows:
- If the alarm goes on, leave the site as soon as possible.

Here "goes on" can be understood to mean "continues", but the sentence is not very clear. Instead you can say "If the alarm continues to sound, leave the site as soon as possible". This needs some context whereby if the alarm sounds only briefly then you don't need to leave (e.g. a short sound is only a test).

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Thank you do much.

I actually heard both when I worked for an oil company. The HSE(health and safety envoronment) personnel used these two verbs after an alarm went off due to the release of an "H2S" gas and we gathered at the muster point of the rig site. Then they gave us some advice. Your explanation was/is so useful.

Regards,

JA

Joseph AI actually heard both when I worked for an oil company.

If you heard it from a non-native English speaker, it could be that "goes on" was just an error for "goes off". It can be confusing, since when something (say a machine, electrical device, etc.) is operating, we say it is "on". However, to say that something "goes on" in the sense of "starts operating" is not very natural English and is potentially hard to understand.

Thank you so much GPY for your explanation.
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