Different Uses Of The Word ‘Off’

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The word ‘Off’ can be used as preposition, adverb and adjective. It has a long list of meanings and uses in our casual and non-casual livings which are discussed in details in this lesson of learning English.

It should be noted that when a word is used as a preposition, then it must be followed by a noun, noun phrase or pronoun. And when a word is used as an adverb, then it is followed by nothing that means there will be no noun or pronoun after an adverb.

Different uses of ‘off’ as preposition, adverb and adjective are discussed below. First look at the sentences below where the word ‘off’ has been used as preposition, adverb and adjective :

Uses of Off as an adverb :

a. My friend Shohan has bid bye-bye and drove off.
b. Please take your coat off and hang it up over there.
c. Please just get off now and come later.

Off as a preposition. Look at dialogue below :

Helper : Where would you like to get off?
Passenger : Just get me off the bus at Banani intersection. Ok
See the sentences below :
a. Just put off your shoes and come in the room. Ok

Off as an adjective. Look at the sentences following :

a. I think this milk has gone off . You cannot eat it anymore.
b. I usually take off day on Saturday.
c. I think he is already far off. (means he has gone very far)

Different uses of ‘Off’ as preposition : 

Off as a preposition can mean ‘leaving a plane, train, bus etc’. It is used in phrasal verbs such as get off etc. Look at the example below :

A. Please get the elderly man off the bus at the next stop.
B. Would you like to get off the bus here at Shahbagh intersection?

Off as a preposition can mean ‘no longer connected or attached to someone or something’. See the example below :
a. Shakib Al Hasan is off KKR

, a team of Indian Premiere League, now.
b. He has had cut off all his hair.
c. They cut a branch off the tree.

As a preposition, off is used to mean ‘close to something’. In other words, off as a preposition means ‘something is near a particular street, road etc, but not directly on it. See the sentences below :

A : Could you please tell me where International Convention City, Bashundhara (ICCB) is?
B : Yes, it is just off Kuril-Purbachal 300 feet road. (means it is just by or near the road).
Look at the short dialogue below :
A : Do you know exactly where Star Kebab at dhanmondi is situated?
B : It is  just off the Jhigatala-Muhammadpur road at Shankar. Or it is  just off the main road from Jhigatala to Muhammadpur road at Shankar. 

Look at the other sentences :
a. Jamuna Future Park is just off the Pragati Sarani at Bashundhara Residential Area.

Off as preposition can mean ‘connected or attached to a particular room or space’. See the conversation below :

A : Is there any washroom in this office?
B : Yes. You will find one just off the manager’s room? (means the washroom is attached to manager’s room or space)
A : Thank you. Well, is there also any canteen here in the office?
B : Why not? Just go straight and turn left. You will find the canteen just off the storeroom. Ok. (means the canteen is attached to or just by the storeroom).

As a preposition, off is used to mean ‘in a part of the sea that is near the land’. Look at the sentence below :

a. One mile off the coast of Japan, the Chinese Navy sailed a warship.
b. A group of fishermen has sailed a small boat just off the shoreline.

Off is used to mean ‘leaving a place or going away from something or somewhere’. In other words, we use it to express someone is leaving a place for somewhere else or something is going away from a place. See the examples below :

a. My father has been off the country for New York.
b. We are going to set off for London next week.
c. With only 200 taka in pocket, my brother has set off for Dhaka out of anger with his parents.

See similar uses of off : Be off : (go away or leave) :

a. I am busy now. So be off today. Come another day.
b. If you don’t need me any more, I’ll be off.
be off to : (going to somewhere)
a. We are off to New York next Tuesday. (means we are leaving for the city)

Off as an adjective is used to show that a machine or piece of electrical equipment is not switched on or is not being used. See the sentences :

a. The fan in the room is off now. So it is feeling hot.
b. All the lights were off in the house when we entered.
c. We found the machine off all the day. (here off is used as an adjective)

As a preposition and adjective, off is used to say someone that he or she remove clothes or shoes and something is forbidden to bring with. Look at example below :

a. Please get off your shoes before entering the room.
b. A sign on the door saying ‘get off your shoes please’. (means shoes are not allowed, they are prohibited)
c. Warning : smoking is off in the room. (here off is used as an adjective, meaning prohibited).
d. My daughter kicked off her shoes and settled down on the sofa.

Off is also used to mean someone is not at school or work because he or she is not well or because it is not a normal working day. Look at the examples below :

a. I am taking 5 days off work from tomorrow.

b. My colleague Karman is off work today because he has got fever. (here off is used as an adjective)c. We’re planning a trip to the zoo on my day off.
d. I took just 10 days off last year which is a record compared to my co-workers.

To mean not at work or school, the structure with off is sub+ be+ off. Look at the sentences below :

a. He is off work today due to illness.
b. Marzouk, one of my co-workers, is off sick today. (means he is not at office due to illness)

Off as a preposition mean ‘not talking about a particular subject’ or refraining from something. Look at the sentences below :

a. Let us get off this subject today. (means not talking on the subject any more)
b. Discussants at the conference are told to keep off the issue of salary hike.

Off as an adjective is used to say that an event or program is no longer going to take place as planned meaning the event has been cancelled. Read the examples :

a. Please inform everyone that tomorrow’s meeting is off due to CEO’s illness.
b. Sorry to say that the meeting scheduled to be held today evening is off.
c. Tonight’s IPL match between Mumbai Indians and KKR has been called off due to bad weather.

The word ‘off’ is also used to mean or show someone ‘no longer eating, using, or doing something’. See the sentences below :

a. People nowadays have been off writing letters. (means they do not tend to write letters any more)
b. karim has been off smoke for the last several months. (means not smoking for a period of time)
c. My friend Kamal has been off the media job for several years now. (meaning he is not doing the job any more).
d. I’ve been off alcohol now for three weeks.

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