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I don't understand why they say "One by one, the street lights went out leaving us in total darkness." Why there can't be "...the street lights went off..."? I have looked it up in dictionary; "go out" means "stop shining" while "go off" means "stop working". So why there can't be "went off"? Anyone please help me!

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Went out must come from when lights were candle or gas lighten - this the lights would go out as they couldn't exactly be turned off.

A candle needs to be 'put out' manually or would 'go out' by itself.

Term still applies today with things like power cuts or timed lighting.

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