Many use the words of and off interchangeably, due to lack of knowledge about their meaning and usage. ‘Of‘ is a preposition which is used in sentences to show belongingness or possessiveness. It is commonly contrasted with the word ‘off‘ which is used when we mean ‘away from a person, object or place’. Let’s take a look at the examples given below to understand their difference:
- The game had to be called off because of incessant rains.
- Maria took her pen out of the jacket, before taking it off.
In the first sentence, we are using a phrasal verb called off to mean cancel, whereas of is used to give a reason. In the next sentence, take off implies remove, while of is used to show the source or derivation.
Content: Of Vs Off
|Basis for Comparison||Of||Off|
|Meaning||'Of' is used to show a relationship or connection between someone or something to another.||'Off' means away from someone or something, i.e. it expresses the act detachment from a person, place or object.|
|Part of Speech||Preposition||Verb, Adjective, Adverb and Preposition|
|Examples||There are only a handful of almonds in the packet.||Switch off the fan now.|
|I have a pair of shoes that I bought from London.||I slipped when I was getting off the train.|
|21 June is the longest day of the year.||You should turn off the computer, before leaving the class.|
Definition of Of
Of is a preposition, which is used in sentences to show connectivity with the noun. It is a function word that shows the point of reckoning, part of the whole, origin, belongingness, motive and the like. So, let’s take a look at the points presented below to understand its uses:
- To indicate possession or belongingness:
- They are the workers of the factory.
- The colour of her saree is black.
- Delhi is the capital of India.
- It also expresses an amount or number or particular unit:
- Thousands of people came to the Mayor’s daughter wedding.
- None of them went to the hospital to see his condition after the accident.
- All of us contributed to the welfare fund.
- To reflect containing/comprising:
- I need a glass of hot water.
- She drinks 5 cups of coffee every day.
- To show position:
- You can find the book at the top of the almirah.
- I am standing in front of your house.
- To indicate date:
- Alex was born on the second of April.
- We’ll meet you at the end of this month.
- It is used to indicate made up of:
- The jewellery is made up of gold.
- The green bottle on the table is made up of glass.
- It can also be used for comparing two things:
- Minnie is best of all the candidates came for the interview.
- Of all the dresses, I like the green one most.
- This is one of the best restaurants in Paris.
Definition of Off
Off is used to show disconnection from a person, place or object, i.e. away from someone or something. Generally, we use off after verbs, making it phrasal verbs, such as turn off, call off, put off, take off, go off, runoff, drive off and so forth. Let’s take a look at the uses of the word ‘off’:
- As an adverb, it indicates the distance from a place or separating/removing something:
- The thief stole the mobile phone and ran off.
- The officers asked students to take off the jacket.
- Joe is off to America next year.
- As a preposition, it indicates moving away from a place, time or position:
- Alisha cried, as she fell off the bicycle.
- Please cut me a piece off the birthday cake.
- As an adjective, it expresses stopping or delaying something or no longer fresh:
- The event has been put off till March.
- The medicines will go off if you don’t store it at the right temperature.
- As a verb, it means to kill someone off:
- After the fight, Mark offed Rachel and ran away.
Key Differences Between Of and Off
The points given below are substantial, so far as the difference between of and off is concerned:
- We use the word ‘of’ to express the direction from, origin, source distance, belongingness, association, cause, occasion or purpose of something. On the contrary, we use the word off to show detachment as in something is no longer in connection with the another, i.e. it is away or aside from its usual place or position.
- Of is a preposition, which is used to show some connection with the other word, or part of the sentence. As against, Off is commonly used as an adverb, but it can also be used as a noun, verb, adjective and preposition.
- The word ‘off’ is added after the verb, to make it a phrasal verb, whereas we cannot make a phrasal verb, with the help of the word ‘of’.
- She is the sister of my mother.
- The painting is made up of watercolours.
- There is an overall decrease of 2% in the company’s profit.
- The policeman is off duty today.
- Many employees are laid off this year from the company.
- The plane took off, after an hour of delay.
How to remember the difference
The first and foremost difference between these two words lies in their pronunciation, in the sense that while ‘of’ is pronounced with a ‘v’ sound, whereas, ‘off’ is pronounced as an ‘f’ sound. Secondly, ‘of’ is mainly used as a preposition, but ‘off’ is commonly used as an adverb.