Of vs. Off: What's the Difference?
"Of" indicates relation, possession, or material; "Off" means away from, disconnected, or reduced.
"Of" is a preposition that often signifies a relationship between two elements, showing things like possession, origin, or composition. In contrast, "Off" can act as an adverb, preposition, or adjective, generally indicating separation, distance, or cessation.
"Of" helps denote the material something is made of or the origins of an individual, describing a connection or association. Conversely, "Off" signifies a movement away from a place or the action of disconnecting or interrupting an operation.
"Of" is used to indicate a point of reckoning or a subject of reference, it's never used to suggest removal or reduction. On the other hand, "Off" can represent a decline or decrease in something, such as "10% off" or "the day off."
"Of" establishes membership within a group or category, indicating inclusion. "Off," however, marks exclusion or departure from a standard path, status, or condition, like being "off course" or "off duty."
"Of" can indicate the cause of an action or emotion, demonstrating an abstract relationship. "Off" describes a state of inactivity or non-operation, like turning a device off or marking the end of an event.
Adverb, Preposition, Adjective
Indicates origin or material
Denotes distance, cessation, reduction
Shows possession, cause
Indicates inactivity, non-operation
Usage in Phrases
Part of set phrases (e.g., "out of")
Part of set phrases (e.g., "off to")
Of and Off Definitions
"Of" indicates origin or source.
The sound of rain.
"Off" means not adhering to a standard or schedule.
The bus is off course.
"Of" signifies composition or material.
A necklace of pearls.
From a place or position
He walked off in a huff.
"Of" shows a point of reckoning.
East of the city.
At a certain distance in space or time
A mile off.
A week off.
Derived or coming from; originating at or from
Customs of the South.
From a given course or route; aside
The car swerved off into a ditch.
Caused by; resulting from
A death of tuberculosis.
Into a state of unconsciousness
I must have dozed off.
Away from; at a distance from
A mile east of here.
So as to be no longer on, attached, or connected
He shaved off his mustache.
So as to be separated or relieved from
Robbed of one's dignity.
Cured of distemper.
So as to be divided
We marked off the playing field by yards.
From the total or group comprising
Give of one's time.
Two of my friends.
Most of the cases.
So as to be no longer continuing, operating, or functioning
She switched off the radio.
Composed or made from
A dress of silk.
So as to be completely removed, finished, or eliminated
Will the cats kill off the mice?.
Associated with or adhering to
People of your religion.
So as to be in a state of sudden violent or loud activity
The firecracker went off. The alarm went off.
Belonging or connected to
The rungs of a ladder.
So as to be smaller, fewer, or less
Sales dropped off.
A person of honor.
So as to be away from or not engaged in work or duty
They took a day off.
On one's part
Very nice of you.
Containing or carrying
A basket of groceries.
Distant or removed; farther
The off side of the barn.
Specified as; named or called
A depth of ten feet.
The Garden of Eden.
Stopped by on the off chance that they're home.
Centering on; directed toward
A love of horses.
Not on, attached, or connected
With my shoes off.
Produced by; issuing from
Products of the vine.
Not operating or operational
The oven is off.
Characterized or identified by
A year of famine.
No longer taking place; canceled
The wedding is off.
With reference to; about
Think highly of her proposals.
Will speak of it later.
Production was off this year.
In respect to
Slow of speech.
Not up to standard; below a normal or satisfactory level
Your pitching is off today.
Set aside for; taken up by
A day of rest.
Not accurate; incorrect
Your statistical results are off.
Five minutes of two.
Somewhat crazy; eccentric
I think that person is a little off.
During or on a specified time
Of recent years.
Started on the way; going
I'm off to see the president.
Beloved of the family.
Absent, away from, or not engaged in work or duty
She's off every Tuesday.
Used to indicate an appositive
That idiot of a driver.
Spent away from work or duty
My off day is Saturday.
"A plague of all cowards, I say" (Shakespeare).
Being on the right side of an animal or vehicle.
Expressing distance or motion.
Being the animal or vehicle on the right.
From (of distance, direction), "off".
(Nautical) Farthest from the shore; seaward.
Since, from (a given time, earlier state etc.).
(Sports) Toward or designating the side of the field facing the batsman in cricket.
From, away from (a position, number, distance etc.).
There are no shops within twenty miles of the cottage.
So as to be removed or distant from
The bird hopped off the branch.
Indicating removal, absence or separation, with the action indicated by a transitive verb and the quality or substance by a grammatical object.
Finally she was relieved of the burden of caring for her sick husband.
Away or relieved from
Indicating removal, absence or separation, with resulting state indicated by an adjective.
He seemed devoid of human feelings.
Living off locusts and honey.
(obsolete) Indicating removal, absence or separation, construed with an intransitive verb.
With the means provided by
Living off my pension.
"What else do you want off me?" (Jimmy Breslin).
Indicating an ancestral source or origin of descent.
The word is believed to be of Japanese origin.
Extending or branching out from
An artery off the heart.
Introducing an epithet that indicates a birthplace, residence, dominion, or other place associated with the individual.
Jesus of Nazareth (after hometown)
Anselm of Canterbury (after diocese)
Anselm of Aosta (after birthplace)
Anselm of Bec (after monastery)
Pedro II of Brazil (after dominion)
Mrs Miggins of Gasworks Road, Mudchester (after place of residence)
Not up to the usual standard of
Off his game.
Indicating a (non-physical) source of action or emotion; introducing a cause, instigation; from, out of, as an expression of.
The invention was born of necessity.
So as to abstain from
Went off narcotics.
(following an intransitive verb) Indicates the source or cause of the verb.
It is said that she died of a broken heart.
(Nautical) To seaward of
A mile off Sandy Hook.
(following an adjective) Indicates the subject or cause of the adjective.
I am tired of all this nonsense.
To go away; leave
Off or I'll call the police.
(following a passive verb) Indicates the agent (for most verbs, now usually expressed with by).
I am not particularly enamoured of this idea.
In a direction away from the speaker or other reference point.
He drove off in a cloud of smoke.
Used to introduce the "subjective genitive"; following a noun to form the head of a postmodifying noun phrase (see also 'Possession' senses below).
The contract can be terminated at any time with the agreement of both parties.
Into a state of non-operation or non-existence.
Please switch off the light when you leave.
(following an adjective) Used to indicate the agent of something described by the adjective.
It was very brave of you to speak out like that.
So as to remove or separate, or be removed or separated.
He bit off the end of the carrot.
Some branches were sawn off.
Expressing composition, substance.
(after a verb expressing construction, making etc.) Used to indicate the material or substance used.
Many 'corks' are now actually made of plastic.
Used in various other ways specific to individual idiomatic phrases, e.g. bring off, show off, put off, tell off, etc. See the entry for the individual phrase.
(directly following a noun) Used to indicate the material of the just-mentioned object.
She wore a dress of silk.
All the lights are off.
Indicating the composition of a given collective or quantitative noun.
What a lot of nonsense!
Cancelled; not happening.
The party's off because the hostess is sick.
Used to link a given class of things with a specific example of that class.
Welcome to the historic town of Harwich.
Not fitted; not being worn.
Your feet will feel better once those tight boots are off.
The drink spilled out of the bottle because the top was off.
Links two nouns in near-apposition, with the first qualifying the second; "which is also".
I'm not driving this wreck of a car.
Rancid, rotten, gone bad.
This milk is off!
Introducing subject matter.
Disgusting, repulsive, abhorrent.
Links an intransitive verb, or a transitive verb and its subject (especially verbs to do with thinking, feeling, expressing etc.), with its subject-matter; concerning, with regard to.
I'm always thinking of you.
Less than normal, in temperament or in result.
Sales are off this quarter
(following a noun (now chiefly nouns of knowledge, communication etc.)) Introduces its subject matter; about, concerning.
He told us the story of his journey to India.
I felt that his comments were a bit off.
(following an adjective) Introduces its subject matter.
This behaviour is typical of teenagers.
(in phrases such as 'well off', 'poorly off', etc., and in 'how?' questions) Circumstanced.
Our family used to be well off; now we're very badly off.
How are you off for milk? Shall I get you some more from the shop?
Having partitive effect.
Started on the way.
Off to see the wizard
And they're off! Whatsmyname takes an early lead, with Remember The Mane behind by a nose.
(following a number or other quantitive word) Introduces the whole for which is indicated only the specified part or segment; "from among".
Most of these apples are rotten.
Far; off to the side.
He took me down the corridor and into an off room.
The off horse or ox in a team, in distinction from the nigh or near horse
(following a noun) Indicates a given part.
Designating a time when one is not strictly attentive to business or affairs, or is absent from a post, and, hence, a time when affairs are not urgent.
He took an off day for fishing.
An off year in politics;
The off season
Some, an amount of, one of.
On the whole, they seem to be of the decent sort.
(in phrases such as 'off day') Designating a time when one is not performing to the best of one's abilities.
Links to a genitive noun or possessive pronoun, with partitive effect (though now often merged with possessive senses, below).
He is a friend of mine.
— I'll have the chicken please.
— Sorry, chicken's off today.
On the side furthest from the kerb (the right-hand side if one drives on the left).
The off front wheel came loose.
Belonging to, existing in, or taking place in a given location, place or time. Compare "origin" senses, above.
He was perhaps the most famous scientist of the twentieth century.
(cricket) In, or towards the half of the field away from the batsman's legs; the right side for a right-handed batsman.
Belonging to (a place) through having title, ownership or control over it.
The owner of the nightclub was arrested.
Not positioned upon, or away from a position upon.
He's off the roof now.
I took it off the table.
Keep off the grass.
Belonging to (someone or something) as something they possess or have as a characteristic; the "possessive genitive". (With abstract nouns, this intersects with the subjective genitive, above under "agency" senses.)
Keep the handle of the saucepan away from the flames.
Detached, separated, excluded or disconnected from; away from a position of attachment or connection to.
The phone is off the hook
The coat fell off the peg.
He was thrown off the team for cheating.
We've been off the grid for three days now.
We're off their radar.
He's off the computer, but he's still on the phone.
Forming the "objective genitive".
Used to indicate the location or direction of one thing relative to another, implying adjacency or accessibility via.
His office is off this corridor on the right.
We're just off the main road.
Look! There's a UFO off our left wing!
Follows an agent noun, verbal noun or noun of action.
She had a profound distrust of the police.
Used to express location at sea relative to land or mainland.
The island is 23 miles off the cape.
Expressing qualities or characteristics.
Removed or subtracted from.
There's 20% off the list price.
Links an adjective with a noun or noun phrase to form a quasi-adverbial qualifier; in respect to, as regards.
My companion seemed affable and easy of manner.
No longer wanting or taking.
He's been off his feed since Tuesday.
He's off his meds again.
Indicates a quality or characteristic; "characterized by".
Pooh was said to be a bear of very little brain.
Out of the possession of.
He didn't buy it off him. He stole it off him.
Indicates quantity, age, price, etc.
We have been paying interest at a rate of 10%.
Placed after a number (of products or parts, as if a unit), in commerce or engineeringEngineering.
Tantalum bar 6 off 3/8" Dia × 12" — Atom, Great Britain Atomic Energy Authority, 1972
Samples submitted … 12 off Thermistors type 1K3A531 … — BSI test report for shock and vibration testing, 2000
I'd like to re-order those printer cartridges, let's say 5-off.
Used to link singular indefinite nouns (preceded by the indefinite article) and attributive adjectives modified by certain common adverbs of degree.
It's not that big of a deal.
Expressing a point in time.
To switch off.
Can you off the light?
During the course of (a set period of time, day of the week etc.), now specifically with implied repetition or regularity.
Of an evening, we would often go for a stroll along the river.
(usually in phrases such as 'from the off', 'at the off', etc.) Beginning; starting point.
He has been very obviously an untrustworthy narrator right from the off.
For (a given length of time).
I’ve not tekken her out of a goodly long while.
In a general sense, denoting from or away from; as:
(after a noun) Indicates duration of a state, activity etc.
After a delay of three hours, the plane finally took off.
Denoting distance or separation; as, the house is a mile off.
Denotes the number of minutes before the hour;Before (the hour); to.
What's the time? / Nearly a quarter of three.
Denoting the action of removing or separating; separation; as, to take off the hat or cloak; to cut off, to pare off, to clip off, to peel off, to tear off, to march off, to fly off, and the like.
(usually in modal perfect constructions) have, chiefly in depictions of colloquial speech.
Denoting a leaving, abandonment, departure, abatement, interruption, or remission; as, the fever goes off; the pain goes off; the game is off; all bets are off.
In a general sense, from, or out from; proceeding from; belonging to; relating to; concerning; - used in a variety of applications; as:
Denoting a different direction; not on or towards: away; as, to look off.
Denoting that from which anything proceeds; indicating origin, source, descent, and the like; as, he is of a race of kings; he is of noble blood.
That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you.
Denoting opposition or negation.
The questions no way touch upon puritanism, either off or on.
Denoting possession or ownership, or the relation of subject to attribute; as, the apartment of the consul: the power of the king; a man of courage; the gate of heaven.
Away; begone; - a command to depart.
Denoting the material of which anything is composed, or that which it contains; as, a throne of gold; a sword of steel; a wreath of mist; a cup of water.
Not on; away from; as, to be off one's legs or off the bed; two miles off the shore.
Denoting part of an aggregate or whole; belonging to a number or quantity mentioned; out of; from amongst; as, of this little he had some to spare; some of the mines were unproductive; most of the company.
It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed.
It is a duty to communicate of those blessings we have received.
On the farther side; most distant; on the side of an animal or a team farthest from the driver when he is on foot; in the United States, the right side; as, the off horse or ox in a team, in distinction from the nigh or near horse or ox; the off leg.
Denoting that by which a person or thing is actuated or impelled; also, the source of a purpose or action; due to; as, they went of their own will; no body can move of itself; he did it of necessity.
For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts.
Designating a time when one is not strictly attentive to business or affairs, or is absent from his post, and, hence, a time when affairs are not urgent; as, he took an off day for fishing: an off year in politics.
Denoting reference to a thing; about; concerning; relating to; as, to boast of one's achievements; they talked of many things.
Knew you of this fair work?
Designating a time when one's performance is below normal; as, he had an off day.
Denoting nearness or distance, either in space or time; from; as, within a league of the town; within an hour of the appointed time.
The side of the field that is on the right of the wicket keeper.
Denoting identity or equivalence; - used with a name or appellation, and equivalent to the relation of apposition; as, the continent of America; the city of Rome; the Island of Cuba.
Not in operation or operational;
The oven is off
The lights are off
Denoting the agent, or person by whom, or thing by which, anything is, or is done; by.
And told to her of [by] some.
He taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
[Jesus] being forty days tempted of the devil.
Below a satisfactory level;
An off year for tennis
His performance was off
Denoting relation to place or time; belonging to, or connected with; as, men of Athens; the people of the Middle Ages; in the days of Herod.
(of events) no longer planned or scheduled;
The wedding is definitely off
Denoting passage from one state to another; from.
In an unpalatable state;
During; in the course of.
Not be seen to wink of all the day.
My custom always of the afternoon.
Why, knows not Montague, that of itselfEngland is safe, if true within itself?
Not performing or scheduled for duties;
He's off every Tuesday
He was off duty when it happened
An off-duty policeman
"Of" denotes belonging or relation.
The pages of the book.
From a particular thing or place or position (`forth' is obsolete);
Ran away from the lion
Wanted to get away from there
Sent the children away to boarding school
The teacher waved the children away from the dead animal
Went off to school
They drove off
Go forth and preach
"Of" expresses a cause or motive.
Died of hunger.
At a distance in space or time;
The boat was 5 miles off (or away)
The party is still 2 weeks off (or away)
Away back in the 18th century
No longer on or in contact or attached;
Clean off the dirt
He shaved off his mustache
"Off" denotes separation or distance.
He walked off.
"Off" indicates a reduction or discount.
50% off sale items.
"Off" refers to deactivation or cessation.
The lights are off.
"Off" signifies a departure or start of a journey.
They're off to Europe.
Q: Is "of" used for possession?
A: Yes, it often indicates a relationship or belonging.
Q: Does "of" show origin?
A: Yes, it can indicate source or origin.
Q: Is "of" a preposition?
A: Yes, it's primarily a preposition.
Q: Can "off" start a journey?
A: Yes, like in "off to a good start."
Q: Is "off" about separation?
A: Often, it denotes distance or disconnection.
Q: Is "of" for abstract relationships?
A: It can express intangible connections.
Q: Can "of" indicate cause?
A: Yes, like in "died of hunger."
Q: Does "off" mean reduced?
A: It can, especially in sales contexts.
Q: Is "off" used in fixed phrases?
A: Yes, like "off the record."
Q: Can "off" be an adjective?
A: Yes, describing something inactive or substandard.
Q: Is "off" an adverb?
A: It can function as one.
Q: Is "of" for formal expressions?
A: It's common in both formal and informal English.
Can "off" be an adjective?
Yes, describing something inactive or substandard.
Q: Does "of" indicate material?
A: It can denote what something is made of.
Q: Can "of" show position?
A: Yes, indicating relative location.
Q: Can "off" mean deactivated?
A: Yes, like a device or light.
Q: Can "off" indicate time off work?
A: Yes, as in "day off."
Q: Does "off" imply incorrectness?
A: Sometimes, as in "off the mark."
Q: Does "of" denote part of a whole?
A: Often, as in "slice of cake."
Does "of" show origin?
Yes, it can indicate source or origin.
Does "off" imply incorrectness?
Sometimes, as in "off the mark."
Can "off" mean deactivated?
Yes, like a device or light.
Q: Can "of" indicate quantity?
A: Yes, as in "a lot of."
Is "of" used for possession?
Yes, it often indicates a relationship or belonging.
Is "off" about separation?
Often, it denotes distance or disconnection.
Is "of" a preposition?
Yes, it's primarily a preposition.
Can "off" start a journey?
Yes, like in "off to a good start."
Is "of" for abstract relationships?
It can express intangible connections.
Is "off" an adverb?
It can function as one.
Can "of" indicate quantity?
Yes, as in "a lot of."
Can "off" indicate time off work?
Yes, as in "day off."
Q: Does "off" show direction?
A: It can, implying movement away.
Can "of" indicate cause?
Yes, like in "died of hunger."
Does "off" mean reduced?
It can, especially in sales contexts.
Does "of" indicate material?
It can denote what something is made of.
Is "off" used in fixed phrases?
Yes, like "off the record."
Can "of" show position?
Yes, indicating relative location.
Does "of" denote part of a whole?
Often, as in "slice of cake."
Does "off" show direction?
It can, implying movement away.
Is "of" for formal expressions?
It's common in both formal and informal English.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited byHuma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.