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Hi teachers,

Excerpts:

More than an hour before the city's 5 p.m. evacuation deadline Saturday, the New York City Housing Authority started shutting off elevators, boilers and other services to its buildings in the Zone A evacuation area.

"It is a mandatory evacuation. Your buildings are shutting down. Your elevators are shutting down. Your boilers are shutting down and it will be much too dangerous to stay," Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged at the Office of Emergency Management headquarters late Saturday afternoon.

The excerpts come one after the other, no breaks.

1. Why did the writer use "shut off" in the first paragraph, and "shut down" in the second?

2. Your buildings are shutting down. This is an active use of "shut down". Is it grammatical to rephrase it to "We are shutting down your buildings" to mean the same as "your buildings are shutting down"?

Thanks

Tinanam
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Hi,

Excerpts:

More than an hour before the city's 5 p.m. evacuation deadline Saturday, the New York City Housing Authority started shutting off elevators, boilers and other services to its buildings in the Zone A evacuation area.

"It is a mandatory evacuation. Your buildings are shutting down. Your elevators are shutting down. Your boilers are shutting down and it will be much too dangerous to stay," Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged at the Office of Emergency Management headquarters late Saturday afternoon.

The excerpts come one after the other, no breaks.

1. Why did the writer use "shut off" in the first paragraph, and "shut down" in the second?

For the elevators, there is no real difference. I imagine the writer didn't really think much about which way to say it.

For the buildings, it's not idiomatic to shut off a building. The phrase is more used for equipment.

2. Your buildings are shutting down. This is an active use of "shut down". Is it grammatical to rephrase it to "We are shutting down your buildings" to mean the same as "your buildings are shutting down"? Yes.

Clive
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Hi Clive,

Thanks for your answers. I am sure when to use active and passive voices.

"It is a mandatory evacuation. Your buildings are shutting down. Your elevators are shutting down. Your boilers are shutting down and it will be much too dangerous to stay," Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged at the Office of Emergency Management headquarters late Saturday afternoon.

If the writer were to write, "your building are being shut down. Your elevators are being shut down. Your boiler are being shut down....", would it still make sense?

Thanks

Tinanam
Hi,

Yes. It just loses a bit of drama and force.

Clive
Hi Clive,

Thanks for your help.

Tinanam
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