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I'm writing about a person who comes into the room twice and both times turns the light on and then off.

I'm wondering if I can avoid repetition with the expressions like

  • taps the light switch (off);
  • slams the switch on;
  • shuts the light (off).

Are those three grammatically correct? Or maybe there are more common ways to say that?

Thank you!

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    How about "Switch the light on/off"? – Cascabel Jul 10 '19 at 16:50
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taps the light switch (off)

and

slams the switch on

both sound fine to me, although the first might suggest a neutral or tentative mood and the second is more aggressive.

shut the light off

is rarely used in the context of operating a switch and sounds odd. It's probably more appropriate in a situation where the light is being blocked, for example by closing a door.

In addition to Stu W's suggestion of 'flipping the switch', you could also use:

She clicked the light switch on and off again

or

She flicked the light switch on and off again

I use 'light switch' in these examples and not just 'light' because I think 'turn on the light' could refer to a number of ways of switching a lamp on, whereas 'clicking' and 'flicking' (and 'flipping') are more specific to the typical type of plastic wall switch you'd find in modern buildings.

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Flipped the switch.

Joe came into the room and flipped the switch, bathing the whole area in warm shades of yellow.

  • Note of interest...a breaker box is called a flip-on in many parts of Latin America. – Cascabel Jul 12 '19 at 13:48

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