Like many natives, English speakers use specific terms to describe certain things. If you don’t know what these terms are, you might struggle to come up with a good way of saying something like “the light bulb has stopped working.” This article will explore what the natives say.
How Do Native Speakers Say “The Light Bulb Has Stopped Working”?
There are some very common choices for native speakers listed below, but we’ve also included some others that work well to convey the meaning you want:
- The light bulb went out
- The light bulb burned out
- The bulb has blown
- The bulb’s gone
- The lights went out
- Who turned out the lights?
- The light bulb is dead
- The bulb has had it
- The bulb has fused
- The bulb needs replacing
The preferred version is “the light bulb went out.” It’s the most common native phrase that works to show a light bulb has run its course. Once it gets replaced, it will work again, but the phrase implies that we need to fix it as soon as we get a chance.
The Light Bulb Went Out
“The light bulb went out” works well to show that a light bulb has recently broken. “Went out” is a common phrasal verb that native speakers use, and it shows that the bulb has no more electrical uses left.
Incidentally, it’s also much more common for native speakers to just use “bulb” rather than “light bulb.” The “light” portion of the word is dropped because it’s seen as a redundancy, and many native speakers will simply say, “the bulb went out.”
- The light bulb went out, mate. You need to get on top of that before you get called out in the review.
- The bulb went out! Can you get someone in to fix it for me, please?
- This bulb went out a few days ago. We simply haven’t had a chance to fix the problem.
The Light Bulb Burned Out
“The light bulb burned out” works because “burned out” is a great way to refer to faulty electrical equipment. We use “burn out” to show that there was no more electrical current going into the bulb, meaning it no longer operated correctly.
As we mentioned above, native speakers prefer using “bulb” without the “light” adjective beforehand. It’s much more common for natives to stick to “the bulb burned out.”
- The light bulb burned out. Is there anything you can do to get it fixed before tomorrow?
- The bulb burned out again. I’m sure they’re selling us broken ones.
- Why has the bulb burned out? We only installed it yesterday. You need to chase them up about this.
The Bulb Has Blown
“The bulb has blown” works when we want to show that the bulb “blew out.” Usually, this implies that it suddenly turned off because it had no more power to give.
It’s most common for bulbs to “blow” when you turn them on. If you flick a switch and the bulb only shines for a few seconds before “blowing” and burning out, it’s likely that you’ll hear native speakers use “the bulb has blown” to refer to the situation.
- The bulb has blown! I managed to get it working for just enough time, but it’s gone now.
- Right, the bulb has blown! Make sure you get a better replacement this time around, okay?
- The bulb has blown. I knew that was going to happen!
The Bulb’s Gone
“The bulb’s gone” is a simple phrase we can use to let someone know a bulb is broken. “Gone” is used as an adjective here to show that it is no longer working, and “bulb’s” is a contracted form of “bulb is.”
- The bulb’s gone. I think you should get it sorted before your mother comes to visit us tomorrow.
- Okay, so the bulb’s gone! We can still see most of the stuff we’re working on just fine.
- The bulb’s gone again! I could have sworn you replaced it just the other day.
The Lights Went Out
“The lights went out” works just like “the light bulb went out.” However, we want to show that “the lights” is a much more general way to use the phrase.
Native speakers will say “the lights went out,” and they’ll usually understand what they mean when they say it. However, there are two meanings associated with it.
The first meaning relates to “the light bulb went out.” It simply means that a bulb has blown and needs replacing.
However, using “the lights went out” is also more general than that. The second meaning implies that the power has gone out overall. It might be a simple case of turning the power back on that will bring the light back into the bulbs.
You have to make sure you know the difference in meanings before using this one.
- The lights went out again! Can someone go and check what happened?
- Damn, the lights went out! Now I can’t see what I’m working on.
- The lights went out, and I don’t know what I need to do to get them back on again!
Who Turned Out The Lights?
“Who turned out the lights” is a humorous question that some native speakers might use. While it doesn’t explicitly mention that the light bulb is broken, it works to show that the lights aren’t on, and it’s a sarcastic comment to try and figure out why that is the case.
Many native English speakers like to use sarcasm when they’re asking about things like this. If they notice that something is broken when it shouldn’t be, they might try to use humor to lighten the situation before delivering the news.
- Who turned out the lights? I’m sure I flicked these switches up just a second ago!
- Okay, who turned out the lights? I thought they would have come on by now!
- I think your bulbs are out! Who turned out the lights? I can’t see a thing around me!
The Light Bulb Is Dead
“The light bulb is dead” is a simple way to show that it no longer works. We can use “dead” to describe the light bulb, and it works in the same way you’d expect the adjective to work. It implies that there is no life (or light) left in the light bulb.
It’s quite common for people to use “dead” when they’re talking about electrical things. They will often say that something is dead when no more electricity is able to power it.
For example, you might have heard “my phone is dead” or “the hairdryer is dead.” Both imply that the equipment no longer works because they do not carry electrical charges.
- The light bulb is dead, so you’re going to need to go out and buy a new one.
- This light bulb is dead! Can you replace it for me?
- The bulb’s dead. I think we should look into getting a new one.
The Bulb Has Had It
“The bulb has had it” is a really informal way of showing someone that the bulb is broken. We can use “has had it” to show that there is nothing left for the bulb to do. It’s the present perfect tense, which implies the bulb has only just died out.
- Oh, that bulb has had it! We just haven’t had much time to replace it over the last few weeks.
- The bulb has had it. We’re trying to find a replacement, but it’s harder than it seems.
- Oops, the bulb has had it! I didn’t mean to flick it on, but it clearly needed replacing anyway!
The Bulb Has Fused
“The bulb has fused” isn’t particularly common, but it can still be used. Native speakers will understand what you mean when you say it because “fused” implies that the bulb has run its fuse and “blown out.”
If a fuse has blown, it means electrical equipment will no longer work. That’s why it works well when we want to say that a bulb has “fused.”
- The bulb has fused again! I swear he only replaced it yesterday.
- The bulb’s fused! We need to find a better supplier that lasts a bit longer.
- I think this bulb has fused. We should find a better one before installing it this time!
The Bulb Needs Replacing
“The bulb needs replacing” is a good way to show that someone needs to fix it. While it doesn’t outright state that the bulb “went out,” we can still use this phrase to show that there is no light left in the bulb (hence why it needs replacing).
It’s common for native speakers to use phrases like this when they want someone to do the job for them. They often will ask other people to replace a bulb rather than trying to do it themselves.
- The bulb needs replacing, Matt. Do you have time to do it?
- I can see the bulb needs replacing. When was the last time you had a new one installed?
- That bulb needs replacing. I’m flicking the switch, but nothing’s happening!