Which of the following choices are correct?

While I was reading a book last night, suddenly the electricity ______.

  1. cut off
  2. cut out
  3. went off
  4. went out

What are the differences between them, if any?

  • 7
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is asking for the answer to a quiz question, but shows no research, offers no theories, and in effect offers no question but for the quiz’s own. As such, it has been reduced to a matter of mere proofreading, and so is off-topic per the site FAQ.
    – tchrist
    Mar 28, 2014 at 12:45
  • 1
    @tchrist If this is a quiz question, it is a lousy one. If it is a legitimate request for help, it does show effort: the OP shows exactly where in the sentence the question is and came up with 4 different possibilities. A pure proof reading question would have one sentence only and simply say, "Is this correct?" Mar 28, 2014 at 13:00
  • They all look ok, but for the first two, I'd recommend a linking verb like was, so you'll have was cut off, was cut out
    – kolossus
    Mar 28, 2014 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


Any of these would be acceptable.

The word "cut" here implies that an electrical circuit has been broken, which is what happens when the power goes off.

The word "off" refers to electricity, and the word "out" is associated with light. So you might say, "Suddenly the lights went out." But since the lights and the electricity are closely related, you could use any combination of "electricity" or "lights", "cut" or "went", and "out" or "off", and it would be okay.

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