Off and Of (Grammar Lesson)
The Quick AnswerWhat is the difference between "off" and "of"?
"Off" is the opposite of "on." It is pronounced "OFF."
"Of" is most commonly used to show possession (e.g., an uncle of Mr. Jones) or to show what something is made of (e.g., a wall of ice). It is pronounced "OV."
What Is the Difference between "Off" and "Of"?Writers are sometimes confused by the words "of" and "off." As this confusion rarely occurs in speech, it can often be rectified simply by remembering how the words are pronounced.
- Off is pronounced OFF
- Of is pronounced OV
Click on the Two Correct Sentences
More about "Of" and "Off"The words "of" and "off" are both prepositions. (Note: Here at Grammar Monster, we have found that explaining the grammatical functions of these words is not usually helpful because anyone who can understand the explanation rarely confuses the words.)
Using OfHere are the most common uses of the word "of." The word "of" is used:
- To show possession
- The hand of God
- A part of me
- To state what something is made of
- A splinter of wood
- A heart of gold
- To show what something contains
- A cup of coffee
- A plate of figs
- To show a point of reckoning
- North of the wall
- West of New York
Using OffThe word "off" is the opposite of the word "on." For example:
- Turn it on. Turn it off.
- Put it on the table. Take it off the table.
When the accompanying word introduces a prepositional phrase, it is classified as a preposition. When it does not, it is a particle. For example (phrasal verbs shaded):
- Wipe that paint off the wall. (In this example, the prepositional phrase is "off the wall." The word "off" is a preposition.)
- Stop showing off. (Here, "off" is a particle.)
Don't Write "Get Off Of"With verbs like "to get off," "to live off," and "to go off," there is no need to add "of." With these verbs (called phrasal verbs), the "off" acts as a preposition. There is no need to add your own preposition (i.e., don't write "off of"). For example:
- Get off the table.
- Get off of the table.
- She lived off the land.
- She lived off of the land.
- She is going off you.
- She is going off of you.
How Many Fs Are There?How many times does the letter F appear in the bold text below?
FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS.