Somebody didn’t turn off the tap properly

two beers
at YTaP

Somebody didn’t turn off the tap properly


Somebody did not shut the water off completely.

Tap and Faucet

A tap is a device which is used to release liquid from a pipe or container. In American English it is often called a “faucet”.

Rooms in the House

Rooms in the house where you will find taps are:

the bathroom
the kitchen
the laundry

Phrasal Verbs

The phrasal verbs “turn on” and “turn off” have a couple of meanings:

Sexual Stimulation

He really turns me on.


He really excites me.

in a sexual way.

Look at the opposite:

He really turns me off.

Basic Meanings – turn on – turn off

These verbs are often used figuratively in conversation about love and sexual attraction but their simple literal use is in the context of valves like taps.

I turned the tap on and the water came out.

I turned the tap off and the water stopped running but it was still dripping. I think it is broken.

The Verb – “to tap” or “to tap into”

Resources like oil are tapped. You can tap a rubber tree to get rubber or a maple tree to get maple syrup. That means you insert a pipe into the pool of oil or the tree and the liquid comes out.

Master Ireneu is s a famous Brazilian spiritual teacher who used to work as a rubber tapper.

Beer on Tap

When you drink beer it can come in bottles or cans or from a keg.

If it is from a keg, you have to tap the keg. That means insert a pipe with a tap into the keg (barrel). Then the beer can come out. This is called “tap beer” or “draft beer”.

Do you prefer tap beer or bottled beer?

Figurative Language

The verb to tap into is also used more figuratively in this conversation with Steve from New York. You will hear the sentence:

You tapped into something here.

This is a figurative use of the verb “to tap into something” where it refers to finding something of value or interest in a mass of information.

Using Figurative Language – The Metaphor Page

Conversation with Steve about New York

Tap Dancing

Tap dancing refers to the action of making a tapping sound with your feet when you dance and tap your shoes on the floor.

Fred Astaire was a famous tap dancer.


Are you a dancer?

Have you ever studied tap?

Modals of Deduction

Look at this situation:

– There is water on the floor and the sink is full. Look the tap is running!

– Somebody must have left it on.


Somebody must have left it on.

Somebody must have left the tap on.

Somebody must not have turned it off.

Somebody must have forgotten to turn it off.


In some languages like “Thai” we say “open the light” and “close the light” but in English we say:

Turn the light off.

Turn the light on.


Note the position of the preposition. You can also say:

Turn on the light.

Turn off the light.

Links to More

Vocabulary Links

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