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Hi there,
can the phrasal verbs "turn on" and "turn off" be used intransitively? My dictionaries don't seem to mention that usage. Example:

The lamp turned on by itself! There must be a ghost!
I even unplugged it, and yet the TV wouldn't turn off! That was spooky...

Just push the red button on the remote and the heater turns off in a few seconds.

Or is it more common to use other verbs, like "come on" and "go on/off"? Thanks. Emotion: smile
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If it's natural, these days we say, turns on/off automatically. If it's supernatural, we say, "by itself."

Edit. "Goes on/off automatically/ by itself" is cool.
Comments  
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Hi,

can the phrasal verbs "turn on" and "turn off" be used intransitively? Yes, at least informally.
My dictionaries don't seem to mention that usage. Example:

The lamp turned on by itself! There must be a ghost!
I even unplugged it, and yet the TV wouldn't turn off! That was spooky...

Just push the red button on the remote and the heater turns off in a few seconds.

Or is it more common to use other verbs, like "come on" and "go on/off"? Yes, it probably is.
If you say 'The TV won't turn off', it sounds to me a little bit like there is something wrong more specifically with the 'on/off' switch or button.

Clive
Ok, I see. Thanks. Emotion: smile
Kooyeencan the phrasal verbs "turn on" and "turn off" be used intransitively? My dictionaries don't seem to mention that usage.
What!!! Time to buy a new dictionary! Emotion: big smile See www.m-w.com. ( intrans. to become turned on )

Of course you can use those intransitively -- turn on, turn off, come on, go off.

My automatic porch light never comes/goes/turns on when it's supposed to. I need to fix it.


CJ
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
CalifJimTime to buy a new dictionary! See www.m-w.com. ( intrans. to become turned on )
Darn! I always use MW, I have it on my pc too, but for some reason I looked up "turn" and tried to find a definition there, and I didn't think there was an entry for "turn on" too. [A] So I just checked, and you are right - intransitive verb : to become turned on.
l need to use MW quite a lot, because I realized that even the best dictionaries for learners are quite limiting. They are good for collocations and patterns, but a lot of secondary meanings are missing, along with very advanced vocabulary (mainly technical vocabulary). MW is an excellent one, I always find everything. I usually use it just to check the pronunciation though.
Anyway, thanks. Emotion: smile