Difference between Of and Off

Key difference: 'Of' connects words. It does not actually have a meaning. It is a preposition, and hence it is used to denote a relationship. It just connects words, without actually modifying the meaning. ‘Off’ on the other hand has a proper meaning. In fact, it has various meaning. However, generally it can be considered the opposite of ‘on’. ‘The light is on’; ‘The light is off’. ‘Off’ is very versatile, it can be used as an adverb, a preposition, an adjective and a noun.

The words ‘of’ and ‘off’ look very similar to each other; in fact, until the 17th century, both used to be the same word. However, in today’s common English, the words have two distinct uses. Just a single ‘f’ can change the entire meaning on the sentence.

The word ‘of’ can fulfill several difference functions in a sentence. It can be used to indicate:

  • belonging to somebody/something (a member of the team)
  • coming from a particular background (the people of Wales)
  • to indicate what something contains (a glass of milk)
  • a point of reckoning (South of the border)
  • construction (Heart of gold)
  • possession (Queen of England)

'Of' connects words. It does not actually have a meaning. It is a preposition, and hence it is used to denote a relationship. It just connects words, without actually modifying the meaning.

‘Off’ on the other hand has a proper meaning. In fact, it has various meaning. However, generally it can be considered the opposite of ‘on’. ‘The light is on’; ‘The light is off’. ‘Off’ is very versatile, it can be used as an adverb, a preposition, an adjective and a noun. It can be used in various methods, such as:

  • to denote a location (An island off the coast of Spain)
  • to describe a situation (She is better off without him.)
  • to describe something (The milk smells off.)
  • when speaking of machinery (The air conditioning is off.)
  • when someone leaves (He is off for the day.)
  • and many more…

Further examples of ‘of’:

  • I am spreading the top layer of icing on to the cake.
  • The manager is a representative of the office leadership.
  • Wash your hands of everything.
  • John is a man of good family.
  • I think I’m dying of hunger.
  • Mary has a book of poems.
  • Is that idiot of a salesman calling again?
  • I’m going to visit the city of love.
  • Rupert is one of us.
  • There is talk of peace.
  • I need three kilos of sugar.
  • She was born on the 21st of July in New York.
  • There were a lot of people standing in line.
  • We're going to reach the top of the hill.
  • They live in a block of flats on this street.

Further examples of ‘off’:

  • This button is about to come off.
  • Take off your hat.
  • Turn off the light.
  • Take it off the table.
  • The gas station is just off the corner ahead.
  • The pudding takes a bit off.
  • I am scraping the top layer of icing off of the cake.
  • The manager is off to a meeting in Chicago.
  • Wipe the sweat off your face.
  • Take the wrapping off the gift.
  • This road branches off to Grove City.
  • He took 10% off for all cash purchases.
  • Everything was 50% off.
  • The alarm goes off at noon.
  • My headache passed off soon.
  • Mark the pizza off into equal parts.

Image Courtesy: signsofsafety.net, rapunzelssalonandspa.com

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Comments

^ LOL
This was informative. Thank you for posting :-)

Cool story bro (Y)

So a guy was trying to insult me and he said "fuck of." I naturally corrected him and told him it was "fuck off." He sent me a link to this website explaining why I was wrong. This website only proved that I'm correct. I literally can't stop laughing right now.

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