If you want to tell someone to turn off a light, is “close the light” a correct idiom that you can say? Or is it completely wrong?
In this post, we will discuss whether or not it is correct to say “close the light”.
Is It Correct to Say “Close the Light”?
It is not grammatically correct or proper English to say “close the light”. This phrase is mostly a result of translation errors for people whose first language is not English. In many other languages, “turn off” and “close” are the same word, leading to this issue.
All languages are different, and have different ways of saying and doing certain things. Even though you can learn a different language, you are likely to maintain some of the elements of your native language. This is often why non-native speakers of a language will have a few oddities in their usage.
This is the most common reason “close the light” is ever said. In many other languages, “close” and “turn off” are the same word. So when someone whose first language is one of those languages learns English, they may be prone to the mistake “close the light”.
But while understandable, it is a mistake. After all, you cannot “close” a light, nor can you “open” a light. Light is not a container, and cannot be opened and closed. For this reason, “close the light” is very much incorrect, and should not be used if you can help it.
But then, what can you say instead of “close the light”? Well, the good news is that there are plenty of other options. We’ve compiled a list of what to say instead of “close the light” in the section down below.
Other Ways to Say “Close the Light”
Other ways to say “close the light” are “turn off the light, get rid of the light”, and “shut the light off”. As you can see, most of these alternatives are idiomatic, but most of the synonyms and ways of saying “turn the lights off” are.
However, unlike “close the light”, these idiomatic synonyms generally still make some degree of sense, which is why they are still considered correct in English while “close the light” is not. We will discuss in more detail these alternative phrases to “close the light” in the section below.
1. Turn Off the Light
“Turn off the light” is the most direct synonym to “close the light” that is actually correct. It is also the least idiomatic. After all, lights are either on or off, so “turning off” the lights is very literal. This makes it the best thing to say if you want to be as clear as possible.
That’s mostly because all of the other alternatives are unique to particular dialects or regions. Meanwhile, anyone who speaks English will know what “turn off the light” means, as it is completely literal and straightforward.
- Turn off the light before you leave the room, alright?
- Hey, Tony, could you turn off the light, please?
2. Get Rid of the Light
“Get rid of the light” is somewhat idiomatic, but also fairly literal. After all, “getting rid” of the light would mean turning it off so that it is no longer present. In this way, “get rid of the light” is still a fairly literal way of requesting someone to turn the lights off.
That said, some people may find it a little odd. At this point, the different phrases for “close the light” become fairly regional and specific to different areas.
- Get rid of the light before you come outside, Nina.
- Somebody get rid of that light, would you?
3. Shut the Light Off
“Shut the light off” is another literal synonym phrase that asks someone to turn the lights off. That’s because “shutting off” is a synonym for “turning off”, so it can be used in this way to ask someone to turn the lights off. Most people would know what this phrase means without any explanation.
- I need someone to shut the light off real quick, please.
- Be sure to shut the light off before you close up the store.
4. Get the Light
“Get the light” is a bit odd in that it can really be used to ask someone to both turn the light on and turn the light off. That’s because it isn’t specific. If the light is already off, then “get the light” would mean to turn it on. But if the light was on, it would mean the opposite.
Either way, it can be used to tell someone to turn off the lights, and while it may not be common in all regions, most people would know what you’re saying.
- I should get the light before leaving in order to save electricity.
- Is there anyone available out there to get the light, or is the lighthouse empty?
5. Kill the Lights
This is a very idiomatic phrase, since naturally, you can’t really “kill” something like light. However, “kill” can often be used metaphorically for “destroy” or “eliminate”. In this way, some people use “kill the lights” as an idiom that means “turn the lights off”. Some people might not understand the phrase.
- Somebody kill the lights before they see us!
- We need to kill the lights before we can sneak into the enemy base.
6. Hit the Lights
“Hit the lights” is a somewhat literal idiomatic phrase that requests you to turn off the lights by way of “hitting” the switch that controls them. In this way, it can be a suitable synonym phrase for “close the lights”, while still being a correct idiom to use.
Because “hit the lights” just asks someone to touch a switch in general, it could be used to say “turn the lights on” or “turn the lights off.
- Jeremy, hit the lights so we can see what we are doing in here.
- Electricity bills can get pretty high, you know. Somebody hit the lights so we can save some money.
7. Switch Off the Light
Since most lights are operated by switches, “switch off the light” is a pretty straightforward way of telling someone to turn the lights off. You could also say “switch on the light” is you wanted, assuming that the light in question was off. Most people will know what this phrase means.
- Switch off the light on the porch, or you’ll attract bugs to it.
- We should switch off the light so we can save a bit of energy.
8. Turn Out the Lights
“Turn out the lights” is effectively synonymous with “turn off the lights”. It probably originated from phrases such as “the light is out” or similar. While some people may find the phrasing odd, most people will know what you are trying to say without any difficulty.
- Johnny, turn out the lights before you go outside, alright?
- Could someone please turn out the lights for me?